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Skipped Ahead to New Jersey
August 11, 2017
High Point: High Point (New Jersey)
Elevation: 1,803 feet (with monument 2,003 feet)
Starting Point: High Point State Park
Total Miles: 0 (mostly a drive up)
Elevation Gain: 30 feet up the parking lot and another 220 feet up the stairs of the monument
So....originally I was supposed to go east from Oklahoma with the intention of summiting several other state high points before visiting family in New Jersey. However, that is not at all what happened. Instead, I ended up driving back to Oregon immediately after summiting the highest point in Oklahoma.
There were several reasons for my prompt return to Oregon, one of which was the fact that the mountains were getting smaller and smaller the further I drove east. An ever increasing feeling of unease over having to return to Oregon without a place to live right before work started again furthered my decision. But most of all, I realized it was the right thing to do. Eating a consistent meal plan while living out of a metal box in the sweltering heat was really difficult and only getting harder as the days progressed. I realized that the abundance of exercise I was doing to accomplish my goal along with how difficult it was for me to follow a meal plan was a recipe for complete relapse and disaster. The terrifying storm I experienced in Oklahoma definitely helped me make this decision as well.
When I got back to the car after summiting Black Butte, I realized that my phone was no longer useable, which prompted my decision even more. The only thing my phone was capable of doing was constantly turning itself on and off. I would have gone to a Verizon store to get my phone fixed, but without a working iPhone to look up the nearest store, I was shit out of luck. I was happy to have to rely on maps and human intuition again in order to get back to Oregon, but I was bummed that I couldn't look up breweries to stop at or hikes to do along the way. With no idea where to stop, I just kept driving. I made it back to Oregon from Oklahoma in less than two days.
I still wanted to visit friends and family on the East Coast, so as soon as I made it to Oregon, I purchased a round trip airline ticket to New Jersey. One week later, I was on my way. I have to admit, it was nice to just read and nap while traveling instead of having to pay attention to the road the whole time. After one layover and eight hours worth of travel, I flew into the beautiful Newark Airport (please sense my sarcasm). That same day, my mom drove me to High Point, the highest point in New Jersey. Minus walking across a concrete parking lot and up 291 steps inside the monument on top of the highest point, there was no hiking involved for this one. Normally I would be disappointed without a hike, but I was jet lagged and exhausted, so I welcomed the easy summit approach.
I don't have much to say about this high point. I think it is ironic that they call it High Point, when it stands a measly 1,803 feet above sea level. There are only nine other high points that are at a lower elevation. But, I suppose it is still a high point. It was a very cloudy day, so I could not see a thing from the top. Supposedly, you can see Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York from the top. I have to admit that I thought it was appropriate that the highest point in New Jersey has a building on top of it. I know I sound really snarky towards New Jersey in this blog, but being that I am a native, I think I have earned the right to do so.
Food: Although the highest point in New Jersey is not the most exciting place in the world, the food in New Jersey definitely makes up for it. I felt it was most appropriate to get pizza afterwards, so I had a slice of Sicilian pizza from a local pizzeria. Needless to say, it was delicious. Also, hanging out with my witty and hilarious Italian grandmother made it well worth the trip.