July 18, 2002, around 12:00 pm
This was an interesting summit. This was my 2nd day on my way home from UT. I had been to Nebraska’s and Kansas’ highpoints the previous day. The directions I had were very good; I drove directly to the summit. On the way to the summit, I passed the entrance road to the Highpoint club, thinking I should stop there on my way back. I stopped by the tower first and climbed it in a very slight drizzle. It was pretty overcast and was drizzling slightly the whole time I was on Taum Sauk. I then drove over to the summit parking area and walked the path to the highpoint rock and marker. I didn’t bother to sign the register because it was ant infested. I took a few pictures and headed out.
Driving down the mountain from the summit, I decided that I should stop by the Highpointer’s Club. I figured that I might not be back here for a long time, so I may as well. I was very hesitant to stop by because I am not a member, even though I am working on visiting all of the state high points. I walked down the drive to Jakk’s house because the road would have been a bit difficult to maneuver in my Honda Civic with its low bottom. I met Jakk and his brother and they invited me in to chat for a few minutes. I sat down and Jakk gave me a certificate of summit completion for Taum Sauk.
Since I haven’t been involved with the Highpoint club, I wasn’t really aware of who Jakk Longacre is. As we got to talking, he told me that he was the founder of the Highpointer’s Club and was the 7th person to complete all 50 highpoints. He also showed me all of the highpoint guidebooks, definitely something I am going to have to invest in if I’m going to get serious about this. I saw several pictures of him in some of the guidebooks and he informed me that there is mention of him in all of the books.
We talked for a while and he explained why he moved to Missouri and we talked for a bit about his cancer. He really is a guru. His comments and insights were great. I hope he beats the cancer and continues to support those that are following in his footsteps. He gave me an Apex and Zenith Highpointer’s Club newsletter that was sent to him to give me an idea of what is in the newsletter. What a wonderful guy! Taum Sauk was great, despite the rain.
A slightly different panorama from a nearby tower:
Here is a map to Taum Sauk from St. Louis: