Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Highpoint #17: Campbell Hill, OH (1549')

I spent the night of the 17th in a motel in Dayton, just across the Indiana-Ohio line. I’d driven over 400 miles to get there from Missouri, and I had another 500 still to go to reach Virginia—a long day’s drive, even for me. If I’d hit the road first thing in the morning, I might have made it home in time for dinner. But I had one more stop: the high point of Ohio.

I pulled off I-70 once again at Springfield and shot up US-68 to Bellefontaine. Under clear morning skies, the town lived up to the charm of its name. I passed a lively business district and climbed through neat neighborhoods, ascending the gradient to the Hi-Point Career Center. No, I wasn’t planning to renounce my peripatetic, writerly life in exchange for technical education and a 9-to-5; this vocational school was the pinnacle of Ohio.

I drove straight through their gates and followed my eyes to the tallest rise on campus: Campbell Hill. There was a bus lot right below the hill. I parked to the side of it, then hopped out into a lovely alpine meadow…

...of a sort.

Unlike Hoosier Hill, Campbell Hill felt like a high place. My calves strained as I climbed the graded lawn to the summit (the unauthorized route, I realized once I reached the top and found all the signs pointing in the opposite direction). A stiff breeze blew over the summit, tossing the flag that overlooked the campus:

There was even a bit of a view:

All in all, it was pretty nice up there.

I signed the summit register, took my pics,

and then set the Lars loose to play in the grass:

And that was pretty much it for the first leg of my highpoint trip. My drive back had a few exciting bits: a badger crossing, an unintended detour through Columbus in which I wound up stuck in front of the ghettoest car ever (bumper falling off, rap blasting from its speakers, and a Scream mask—no joke—hanging from its rearview mirror), a piece of plywood that fell from the truck in front of me and nearly hit my car, and a long drive through the still leaf-bare hills of West Virginia… but it was really all downhill from here.

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