The sport of mountain climbing conjurs up an image of a rugged individual, a brave, fearless adventurer, ready to take on the greatest challenges Nature has to offer. Names like Everest, Denali, Kilimanjaro... these places can kindle the spark of adventure in even the most humble heart. Among those who climb mountains, reaching the summit of a mountain is not always the end of a journey, but one part of an overall quest: the goal is to not climb just one mountain, but a series of mountains.
 
There are those who set out to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents: the "Seven Summits." Climbers in Great Britain take "the Three Peaks Challenge," attempting to climb the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. Some mountaineers set a goal of reaching the summit of every peak in the world over, say, 10,000 feet. "Highpointers" try to climb the highest point in each of the fifty states.
 
However, in mountain climbing, as well as so many other human endeavors, some challenges are harder than others. Some of the world's "peaks," as it turns out, are actually quite accessible by non-professional climbers. An average person, with no experience at all, could climb to the top of these summits. In fact, some might dare to go so far as to call some of these so-called summits "easy." That's how I figured a professional mountain climber might call them. 
 
I was by no means a professional mountain climber. I was just an average guy from Oklahoma. A person like me could only dream of reaching the summits of the great mountains of the world. 

Instead, I set out with a modest goal: to climb the highest points of the states of the American Midwest. It was what I presumed to be an achievable goal for myself. There needed to be something extra, though... some added ingredient to make my journey a little more interesting. 

This is the story of my attempt to climb five state highpoints in four days