Ascent of Kenosha County High Point on 2015-09-27

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, September 27, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kenosha County High Point
    Elevation:990 ft / 301 m

Ascent Trip Report

(For an earlier, relevant visit to this HP, refer to notes for an attempt on 7/15/2015.)

990+ ft.

Sunday, 9/27/2015

For a brief time, this trip almost didn’t happen. I was north of Chicago when I stopped to grab a quick lunch. I pulled up to the drive-through window to pay, and I was suddenly met with a frantic situation – I did not have my wallet! I had my checkbook, but they did not take checks. So I explained the situation, apologized as I canceled the order, and drove away.

Now, here is a predicament. I am a couple hundred miles away from home, with gas nearly empty, without my wallet, without money to fill the tank to even get back home. I began thinking of places that might cash a check; but who could I expect to do that in this day where ID is required of every strange character in suspicious conditions. I decided to take another moment and look through the car to see if it was with me.

You have to appreciate the humor of the situation – or maybe not. I looked in the back seat, and I looked around the passenger-side front seat. Nothing was found. I was praying seriously because I was in a bind. Finally, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Looking down between the driver seat and the door, there it was!

The wallet had fallen out of my pocket and lodged itself in this unexpected place. How did it fall out, you ask? Well, my jeans have a hole in the pocket – not a small hole, but one large enough to fit an entire wallet through. You wonder how a wallet ever stays in that pocket? I do too. I need a new pair of jeans. I thanked God at that moment for His answer to my prayer. I got some gas, used a free ATM machine to get some cash, and returned to the restaurant for the same meal as before. The next stop was the orchard.

I want to thank Ken Oeser for recommending the Oriole Springs orchard to the group. I had never visited a U-pick orchard before. By the time I left, I wasn’t sure if I had just been to a spiritual event or to an amusement park. Apple season is serious business!

I arrived at the orchard building, but I was quickly informed that this was the “Exit” from the orchard. To obtain a bag and pick my own apples, I would need to “Enter” about a quarter mile further west on the state line road.

I arrived at the entrance with 3 apple varieties in mind. I thought I would like some golden delicious, some red delicious, and some empire apples. I decided on a smaller (one peck) bag since I live alone. I was handed a small bag by one of the many high-schoolers – there must have been a hundred of them volunteering throughout the orchard – and I was directed to the correct rows for my desired apples. I parked by the golden delicious apples, and I was amazed at the number of folks who were in the orchard picking their favorite fruits! There were people and cars everywhere. I quickly picked about a dozen apples; then it was back in the car, on my way to the empire apples. I was directed through the woods, and another person was on the other side when I emerged. After 3-4 points to the next turn, I arrived at a person in front of a sign that identified “empire” apples. There were 4 rows, and I was told to turn the corner and drive up the hill to park and choose my fruit.

I drove up and literally parked near the top of the hill. I noted that this appeared to be the highest ground in the whole orchard. So I picked another dozen empire apples and was gifted with having visited the HP of Kenosha County. I quickly wandered about just to make sure, and I noted my car’s GPS position of N42.49671 W88.23303. Upon later inspection, I found that I was right where the topo maps show the HP contour. I believe these coordinates actually improve on the coordinates found on; looking at mine on Acmemapper give a truer representation of where the highest ground is to be found.

I followed signs to the exit, and I paid the $15 for the small bag. But I was not yet done. To finish this “apple-ooza” afternoon, I drove a bit further west on the state line road to arrive at the Harvest Time Orchards. I watched them press cider, and I bought some apple cider and an apple shake. The shake was quite tasty; it had so much spice in the formulation that it just as easily could have been called a “pumpkin” shake – the nutmeg, cinnamon, and whatever else that made it so good.

Having succeeded on this first goal of the day’s journey, I headed off to another first for me – a visit to a pet cemetery in nearby Will County, IL.
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