Ascent of Mount Sunflower on 2016-08-21

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, August 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Sunflower
    Elevation:4039 ft / 1231 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Sunflower
4039 ft.

Sunday, 8/21/2016

After spending the night with my Aunt Marlene in the outskirts of Colorado Springs, with Pikes Peak in the distance, I left. The time had finally come for me to head for home. I set my car GPS and headed east toward I-70 and the 900 mile trip to Indianapolis. I had one last stop to make. Shortly after I entered Kansas, I left the interstate for a brief round trip to nearby Mount Sunflower.

I tried setting my car GPS to take me to this destination, but for some reason the GPS was not finding a road route to get me there. This added some confusion to the route-finding. Thankfully, I had a backup plan. I pulled out the Winger’s state HP book, and I read their description of the route to the summit.

I traveled south, then east, then south again. I was relieved as I traveled and found the HP signs located just where the Wingers told me to expect them. Finally, with one last turn west, I made the final push to the cattle guard crossing and the steel sunflower “artwork” that marked the entrance to the HP. I crossed the guard and then saw a car near the HP fenced-in area. Once again, I was not alone at a state HP.

Actually, this lack of loneness meant that, on this trip, I had visited four state HPs. I was joined by others at each of the four destinations.

I got out of my car and walked over and introduced myself to the father in the group. He was traveling with his boys, and their destination was in the Philadelphia, PA area. We shared some pleasantries, and I asked him to take a couple photos of my summit conquest. After he took my pictures, I returned the favor by taking some shots of him with his boys. I signed the register while I was there.

I then got curious about his trip since I had the difficulty with my car GPS. Coincidentally, he experienced the same problem. His backup plan was to use his cell phone’s GPS. His phone clearly showed all roads that brought him to Mount Sunflower.

With this HP successfully summited, my HP’ing trip was now done. I returned to the interstate and completed an 800-mile journey that had me stopping for the day at a rest area just before I got to Effingham, IL. The next morning, I drove the remaining 400 miles to get me to work around noon. I was able to process the payroll that afternoon and make about 60 people happy when payday arrived on Thursday.
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