#7  Campbell Hill, Ohio (1,549 ft.)


This is not the view from the thin air atop Campbell Hill. No, my wife shot this cloudscape from the window of the plane on our flight to Dayton, whence we visited the lovely state of Ohio in 2010. Our trip was the first flight I took in support of the highpointing quest, and given the site's peculiar history, I thought this would be an appropriate ode to its bygone glory days.

Until 1969, you see, Campbell Hill was home to the 664th Air Force Radar station, a bastion of America's Cold War early-warning defenses. You can almost hear Slim Pickens's yee-hawing echo through the air as he plunges to earth on the haunches of a thermonuclear device.


Slim Pickens as Major T.J. "King" Kong riding the bomb, from Dr. Strangelove

It is now a training school, and instead of radar units it houses a fleet of school buses. Neither is a particularly picturesque use for the highest point in all of Ohio, but the site does boast one of the swankest mailboxes in all of highpointing: a teller at a drive-through bank window would be proud. And the certificates are top notch, too. Kudos to the stewards of the site and to all of the hard work and money that went into making the little "summit" area as nice as it can be.

The day my wife and I visited Campbell Hill, in early November, it was blustery and cold, hence our grimaces. We paid our respects but then hurried back to our friends in Cincinnati. Since Halloween had just passed, we attended a "pumpkin' chunkin'" in a local park. The hurling of the venerable gourd was achieved using hand-crafted wooden medieval trebuchets, like this one sketched by Leonardo da Vince:


Sketches of a trebuchet by Leonardo

If you find yourself visiting Cincinnati, beloved Porkopolis, I highly recommend a trip to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and to the historic Findlay Market, one of the jewels in the Queen City's crown. The sausage vendors alone will make your head spin, and your gut. One of the local specialties is goetta, a haggislike blend of ground beef with pork, onions, and steel-cut oats. You don't gotta try the goetta, but you oughta.

Findlay Mkt 6.r

Findlay Market, Cincinnati (photo: Boston Globe)

I also recommend The Party Source, a liquor store just over the Ohio River, in Kentucky. O, But what a liquor store! One reviewer on Yelp! described it as the Disneyland of all liquor stores, and that's not far from the truth. I bought a wee bottle of moonshine there as well as a stash of maraschino cherries soaked in white lightning: that'll put some man in your Manhattan. We also bought our friends Mitch and Kaveri a bottle of Four Roses bourbon as a wedding present. Bottoms up, and remember to drink responsibly!

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