Kings County High Point Trip Report

Kiaimie mausoleum in Green-Wood Cemetery (220+ ft)

Date: June 23, 2000
Author: Dan Case

For those of you who aren't sick of hearing about Eastern walk-ups, here's an exemplary one. However, I had an hour to get there before the 4 p.m. gate closing, adding some tension. This was made more tense when I discovered that a) the M train doesn't run to where I was until rush hour, and b) you have to be real careful to make sure the N or R train is a local ... the 25th Street station is never an express stop. So, I lost about ten minutes and had to go down to 36th Street and take the train back. Once out of the subway and onto 4th Avenue, I wasted no time hightailing it up to the still-open gate. It was about 3:45 p.m. or so.

A cemetery worker reminded me the gates would be closing soon. I said I would be in, up the hill and back out. He shrugged his shoulders, probably thinking he was going to have to let me out. I said I'd run. Determined to prove him wrong, I hustled up he road running off to the left, until I got far enough out of his sight for him to at least be able to say I made a good-faith effort. But then I realized I'd have to leave the paved roads for the steeper slopes, and I couldn't do that in a sprint.

I first followed the steps and what paths there were, then began marblewhacking. Obeying the direction of slope, I came up to ... a false summit. A nice clearing, and a mausoleum, but not the Kiaimies'. The view of the harbor and lower Manhattan was nice, though. However, there seemed to be higher ground ahead. Dropping into a saddle where a paved road crossed, it revealed itself, an Olympian necropolis capped by the Kiamies' final resting place. I resumed my sprint upwards to it and reached it in a mere five seconds, slapping it like some swimmer making a lap, catching my breath, making sure my feet were on the highest ground and looking around for a view (I think it would be better when there are no leaves on the trees), I began my descent. My visit to New York's lowest county highpoint was complete. Sorry, Leonard Bernstein, but I'll have to pay my respects at a future date.

This time, I just walked briskly, so the patrol cars that were beginning to sweep through would hear from me that yes, I knew it was closing time and I'm getting out, thank you very much, if they bothered to inquire, which none of them did.

So I began to let myself enjoy the walk. I noticed through the trees a view all the way to the Watchung Ridge in NJ, and the two Claridge House apartment complexes in Verona near the Essex County highpoints. Perhaps a discerning eye in the future could find the Union County highpoint way to the south.

The car gate was still open as I walked out unmolested by the patrol car and headed back ... not to the subway at first but the supermarket adjacent to it, for some liquid refreshment.