Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

Britton Hill, Lakewood Park, Walton County, Florida
March 29, 2010

I came to Florida, not to do daring feats or register lasting achievements. I came to Florida with simple plans: to visit a dear friend and to ride an airboat in the Everglades. As I entered Florida from the north from Alabama ...

I saw a small plus (+) sign, snuggled next to the Alabama state boundary, challenging me to the Highest Point in Florida. It was near a major highway not too far off my intended path. I asked myself why would I want to climb this mountain, and I answered it the same as the famous Alpinist George Mallory, "Because it's there." I pointed my truck westwards into the setting sun and sped towards the Florida peak to get there before the dusk. As the sun was nearing the horizon behind me, a sign by the highway led me to a country road and the County park that encompassed this high land of Florida. I parked my truck in the lot of Lakewood Park, and I saw the challenge that laid ahead of me. I was not deterred, and ...

I conquered this peak of all peaks in Florida. The task was grueling, and the road only got me to 343 feet above sea level. I would have to climb the rest of the way to the top. My legs were stone, and my lungs burned from the high altitude, but I put one foot in front of the other and trudged to the summit. The summit afforded me a view that only a summit can show. And I was able to shout to the skies, I conquered Florida.

Well, the last paragraph may be a little bit of exaggeration. The highest elevation in Florida is only 345 feet above mean sea level and is named Britton Hill. My climb from the parking lot: 17 steps with an elevation gain of two feet. I now have climbed the highest peaks of Florida and Hawaii and can boast of something that most people have not done. Can you say that you've climbed the highest peak in Florida? (Okay, I won't proudly boast of this, but I will mention it every once in awhile.)

The summit of Britton Hill

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