Butler, 52, lives in a hillside home that overlooks acres of rolling pastures in Ashe County. He willingly uproots himself for weeks at a time to work and travel. Trained in family and emergency medicine, Butler is a doctor for Project USA, which provides medical care for American Indians.
The idea of reaching the highest points in each state took root when Butler was a high-school student in Colorado. A teacher casually mentioned that it was something he would like to do. At that point, only one person had accomplished the feat.
â€œIt stuck in my mind,â€ Butler said. â€œIt came to me in the late â€™90s that if I had the time, Iâ€™d take it to get all 50 high points.â€