In 1873, according to Basin & Range Magazine, John Muir wrote to his sister Sarah “The mountains are calling and I must go.” When I read that phrase, I could relate. I was filled with longing and yearned to go climb a mountain.
Unfortunately, there are no mountains in Wisconsin… Or are there? I tried looking up the definition of a mountain and got mixed answers. According to Wikipedia, (No nagging about using Wiki as a source, okay?) per the USGS, a mountain used to be anything 1,000 ft or higher. However, that definition was apparently abandoned in the 1970s. Currently, there is no “real” definition. Some countries regard anything over 2,000 ft as a mountain, and yet others determine hill vs. mountain by its slope.
It doesn’t really matter I suppose, because the highest point in Wisconsin is called Timms Hill. I guess that the name itself answers the question of whether it is a hill or a mountain. Regardless, it was time to take another day trip and visit Wisconsin’s highest point.
The drive was a lonely one, because there was nothing but miles of deep forest and a few scattered farms in that region. The road leading up to the hill was winding, but beautiful, as the hill was sandwiched between two lakes and surrounded by lush forest. Surprisingly, there were numerous cars in the parking lot. I had thought that the place would be empty, because there was absolutely no traffic on the way there.
There is an overlook tower on the top of the hill and the path leading up to it was serene and calming. There was a gentle, warm breeze and the forest was quiet except for the rustle of trees and the chatter of the wild birds. During the hike to the top, I started getting slightly winded as it got quite steep near the crest. Here it transitioned from a peaceful forest, to a sunny, open clearing with assorted wildflowers and berry bushes.
Now to climb the tower itself and enjoy the view. There were 88 steps total, the same as most towers of this type. Don’t ask me why I count them, I just need to know how many steps and I also like to compare structures and the design. At the top, the view was lovely, as was to be expected.
There were a few “love locks” attached to the fencing at the top of the tower. These are typically pad locks, with the key thrown away and it’s to signify unbreakable love. It’s quite popular in Europe, but I found it funny that some of the locks attached to the tower were combination locks.
I wondered about the history of those who had carved their names in the tower and how long ago they had etched their names. Did their love last forever like they once believed?
As the wind blew through my hair and I looked out over the vivid green landscape that went on for miles and miles… I prayed a silent prayer, asking God: Where is this life of adventure that he promised and that I crave? To what end is this restlessness in my soul for?
Wait, wait… the whisper of the trees rustle.
Yes indeed the hills, mountains, and nature are calling me. But so also is the creator of it all, and I know if I keep seeking and following this call, I shall find.