December 28th, 2012 12:56 AM / Location: 45.451076,-90.19514
The end of the summer. The end of a day. The end of a vacation.
I live a fair distance away from the highest point in Wisconsin. Timm's Hill is, more or less, at the opposite end of the state. Though I've meant to visit it for quite some time now, I've never gotten the gall to get into the car and drive five hours just so I can climb up an observation tower. Knowing that I'd probably never go, I filed away the location into the back of my mind and promptly forgot about it.
So when I was invited by Jason to join his family vacation up in the northern reaches of Wisconsin, I had completely forgotten all about Timm's Hill. We spent three days in the wonderful wilderness lost in lakes, woods, and the sun, having a completely enjoyable and relaxing time.
Then, my friend and I left early to return back to our home town to prepare for a different vacation. And that's when I remembered Timm's Hill.
We were in Boulder Junction when I remembered.
"Jason," I said. "Do you mind if we take a bit of a detour?"
"I want to visit the highest point in the state."
And that was that. We drove southwest for about an hour and a half before finally arriving at our destination. There was a high school track meet that was running the trails around the Hill. We climbed the path to the top and saw the tower rising out of the forest. I ran up to it and stared and its hulking form in the setting afternoon sun.
Then I started to climb. It was about six stories up, but the climb didn't seem like it. Before I knew it, I was at the top. The wooded landscape stretched out before me, the hills and valleys of treetops mimicking the ground below.
"This is so exciting," I said. "I've wanted to come here ever since I was a kid!"
"This is awesome."
The entire tower was covered in the carvings of generations past. So many pilgrims, just like us, climbing the tower to see the highest point in the state.
Jason went back down to the ground, and I stayed up at the top, taking in the view for a little while longer. Then I started the climb down, cursing my slight fear of heights for the vertigo I was experiencing. It didn't matter. What a fantastic experience, and so impromptu at that! Next up is the second-highest point: Ribb Mountain. That one's more doable in one day. It's just three hours away.