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Bald Knoll

Having failed in my search for Red Creek Mountain, I decided to try for Bald Knoll.  However, the recurring pattern of my getting lost continued.  I never found the trailhead identified in my guide, and none of the local residents was the least bit helpful.  This individual was completely unresponsive.  In fact, he/she was barely willing to stop grazing long enough to move out of the road.

Eventually, I did find a place to park near what appeared to be some sort of summit with a mysterious structure on top, and I figured why not give it a shot.  What's the worst that could happen?  So I set off down another overgrown road which seemed to be heading in the right direction, and this soon transitioned from a level stroll into a rather steep ascent.  I am totally mystified what vehicle could actually drive up a track this steep, but since I was walking, that's not really my problem.  As I came over the top, I was confronted with this subtle clue that I had, in fact, successfully located Bald Knoll.

So, following the consumption of my last cheeseburger, I noted the clouding skies and decided it was time to get out of Dodge. The road continued over the summit and went down the other side of the knoll, but I scrambled down the way I came and made it back to my car in time to get off of the dirt roads before the rain turned them to mud.  

Further adventures on Forest Service Road 54 - Currant Creek Peak

Once again I set off into the beautiful Uinta area accessible off of Forest Service Road 054 to Mill Hollow.  And once again, I quickly became befuddled by the less than comprehensively signed network of dirt and gravel roads crisscrossing the area.  Despite my confusion, I miraculously found the trailhead for Currant Creek Peak just before giving up, parked in a vacant campsite area and set off down an overgrown road.  The route to the summit was less than obvious, but the location of the actual peak was clear, since there is a communications structure on the top.  

This hike started off a little bit like a cattle drive, as a small herd of cows was ahead of me on the road at first.  

Fortunately, the cows did not follow me all the way to the summit, which was kind of a relief since it could have been a bit akward when I got to the cheeseburger consumption.  The hike involved a fair amount of just trudging through the vegetation in an effort to go upward.  But it worked out just fine, and it didn't take that long to get to the summit, with an excellent view.

From here I went off in search of Red Creek Mountain.  At one point I thought I had found the summit with this enormous pile of stones, but alas, this was not it.  Apparently, someone felt it would just be useful to make this big pile in the middle of nowwhere.    

I eventually gave up on Red Creek Mountain, but after getting home and consulting Google satellite imagery in more detail I now realize that I probably just didn't drive far enough.  Another day, maybe after I get a better map (or learn how to read the ones I have already).

Mt. Timpanogos

Unlike Soontohaveastroke, my latest summit is not a FA.  Its more like AT (about time!).  ALL my friends have cheeseburgered Timp and I finally figured I was in shape enough to make it to top during Sierra's Annual Timp Hike 2013.  Accompanied by Sierra, Call-me-anything-but-early and a few other Cheeseburger Summiteers I made it to the top.  And I wasnt alone. Boo-burger also gets credit for this summit as well.  

Moving on to Duchense Ridge (Mill Benchmark)

The next stop on this Sunday morning trek was a quick drive from Heber Mountain to what the guide referred to as Duchesne Ridge.  The official name appears to be Mill  Benchmark, which is one of 3 Mill Benchmarks in Utah.  This was relatively easy to find, although I did have to walk through the underbrush for maybe 100 yards to find the benchmark and eat the next cheeseburger. 

It turns out that my brief stroll resulted in my becoming covered with thistles.  Picking them off of my socks and tossing them out the window was a good way to entertain myself as I drove along the road in search of the next summit. 

Although it was not on my map, there did appear to be another summit very close, with some sort of communications structure on the top.  Despite my past bad experience with pursuing summits in official locations (see posting for Mount Saint Alban) I climbed up a side road to look for a benchmark.  None could be found but  I ate a cheeseburger just in case, all the while keeping vigilant for any signs that I might be cooking from microwaves.  Later research with Google Maps satellite imagery identified this as labelled Duchense Ridge, but it is not an official summit.    


From here I took off down the road in search of Wolf Creek Peak, armed with multiple maps and aerial photographs.  Wolf Creek Peak is not to be confused with Wolf Creek Summit, which has been previously cheeseburgered, and not to be disrespectful, by someone even lazier than me, as this is basically a sign on Highway 35.  However, not only could I not find the route to Wolf Creek Peak, but as I drove aimlessly on various dirt roads I began to have serious doubts about finding my way back to Highway 35.  Note to the Forest Service -- a few more signs would be helpful here.  Eventually, I did manage to get to Wolf Creek Campground next to the highway, but without successfully making it to the peak.  And, even more frustrating, I did not realize the campground is actually located at Wolf Creek Summit, so I could have eaten my 4rth cheeseburger there instead of taking it home and putting it in the freezer (in case of emergency).  So, Wolf Creek Peak remains for another day.  

Lost on Heber Mountain

Building on my new enthusiasm for the Uintas, I decided to try and bag 3 as yet uncheeseburgered summits in one Sunday morning. So armed with detailed instructions from and 4 cheeseburgers – one extra just in case – I made a complex plan and set off enthusiastically despite threats of afternoon thunderstorms. These summits looked to be easy pickings and my only worry was how I would have the appetite to eat a cheeseburger so early in the morning. Ha ha.  If my life had a soundtrack, this is where you would insert ominous music like they play when a young girl is about to go down into the basement in a horror film. Heber Mountain was the first summit on my list. The guide said that you could probably drive to the summit but might need a high clearance vehicle to get the last couple miles.  So after a bumpy ride along Forest Road #54, and mounting anxiety about how my tires were holding up going over the odd pointy rock, I parked my Honda Accord along the road and set off on foot down the road. My car is getting the opportunity to park in a lot of remote locations lately.

The road soon began a gentle descent. Over the long term, going steadily downhill is not compatible with reaching a summit, so I found myself becoming increasingly nervous.  Eventually I decided to leave the road and set off through the meadows towards what I assumed was the summit. This resulted in my becoming what we experienced hikers refer to as “lost”, due to a condition known as “stupidity”. However, by continually moving uphill I miraculously did find the summit. But not quickly. There are actually 2 summits, neither one of which seems to have a benchmark, so I ate my cheeseburger on the first one so I would have the strength to wander over to the second, a distance of maybe 50 feet.  At this point I thought I caught a glimpse of lightening in the distance, and this did not seem like the best place to be in a thunderstorm, so I took off down what I now realized was the road that I should have come up in the first place.

As I strolled down it became apparent that I could have easily driven to the top, as the road is really in pretty good shape. However, I instead managed to turn this into a 7 or 8 mile random wander. At least there were lots of deer gazing at me from various fields to keep me somewhat entertained.  Or maybe it was just the same 2 deer following me in amusement.  

Next, it was off down the road to Duchense Ridge.

Farquhar Knob. Hovland, MN

It's July 28th, and I've been able to see my breath all day.  There couldn't be a better way to warm up a brisk JULY day of Minnesota hiking than to consume a piping hot summit cheeseburger atop one of Cook County's abundant peaks.  

MountainMaiden and I set out on our backwoods quest, only to start the day 0/2.  Our first two summit attempts were stymied by an absolute maze of forest roads/atv trails coupled with a few 'KEEP OUT' signs laden with bullet holes.  Down but not out, we continued to search for a slump-buster.  

Solace was found on Farquhar Knob, where an old road climbed up and up, past a sign with bullet holes, then an old car with bullet holes, then another sign get it.  The road took us to the site of an old firetower, where our resident party pooper safety officer was quick to say no to the idea of climbing.  The results are the same no less, and another summit has been taken down in true Minnesota fashion. 

Failed to mention the beer growler, which may become more of a staple in my future hikes. 

Go big. 

Sugarloaf - Onalaska, WI

My day started in St. Paul, MN, about 150 miles away from the La Crosse/Onalaska, WI area. I drove 2.5 hours down to do a quick 30 minute project for work, and decided driving back up right away wasn't the most ideal of situations. This area of MN/WI is littered with impressive bluffs and hills, so I figured I'd call fellow summiter AmateurHour to quick look up where I could get an easy Summit in before my drive home. The most "accessible" summit in the area was Sugarloaf, located just off an elementary school playground. So after a quick trip to the local BK Lounge, I made my way to the school, trying to look as far from creepy as possible to the kids on the playground.

Now, since I was down there for work, I obviously didn't come prepared for a little summit adventure, but I did what I could with my inadequite climbing outfit. 

Up the hill I went, and quickly found that the woods were extremely thick and heavy with undergrowth. I got as far up as I could, but since it was so thick, I have no idea how close I was to the actual summit.

Since it was so thick (and buggy), I decided to eat my burger in the clearing outside the thick woods. What a view!

My second first summit

Having recently discovered the Uintas (after 7 years in SLC -- I really need to get out more), I was excited to note that Iron Mine Mountain was as yet uncheeseburgered, so I figured here was my chance to recover from the unfortunate experience I had the time I tried to do a bunch of first summits in our nation's capitol. So, armed with instructions from a posting at, I set off early from Sugarhouse. Things got off to an inauspicious start, as I was a bit befuddled by the network of roads in Soapstone Basin off of the Mirror Lake Scenic byway. The entire basin, which is beautiful, was filled with RV encampments, each of which was surrounded by fleets of ATVs. I was getting an early start, so almost no one was up and about, except for a few gnarly looking souls who glared at me suspiciously as I drove by. It turns out that the sign I was seeking for Lambert Hollow was a bit understated, so I missed on my first pass. It was more easily noted when I back-tracked, and since it was not clear where to park, I took a wild quess and left my car in the middle of a meadow. From here, there is an additional 2.3 miles of road to the trailhead, but this was described as passable only by a high clearance vehicle. A 12 year old Honda Accord does not seem to meet this criteria, so I walked up the road. This seemed like a bit of pointless extra work, but on the other hand, I swim laps in the pool for exercise when a jet ski would be faster, so why not? It was a pretty walk none-the-less. At the trailhead, there were two extremely high clearance pick-up trucks parked, leading me to immediately become concerned that someone else was going to beat me to being the first to cheeseburger this summit. I located a large club-like branch in case this turned out to be a problem. From the trailhead, it is another 2 miles on a less well defined road to the summit. This part is posted as closed to all vehicles. In addition to the gate, trees have been chopped down to fall across the road to further emphasize that it is closed to ATVs. Works for me. The road is a gradual, but relentlessly uphill climb through pine forests, aspen groves and meadows. The panoramic views are sparse, but it is peaceful and pretty. Near the top, it opens up into a large meadow-like area with very nice views, bright wildflowers and fluttering butterflies. I half-expected a unicorn to go prancing by. At this point I encountered the two parties from the pick-up trucks and was able to determine that they had never heard of summitcheeseburger, so I was able to discard my club. It was not hard to locate the benchmark, where I consumed my cheeseburger, ravenously at this point, as I was REALLY hungry. The trip down was speedy, and on my arrival back in Soapstone Basin I noted ATVs now flitting around at high speed, all driven by 10 year old boys. There were also plenty of flies. So, I did not linger.

Second Time's the Charm

Back in High School, 30 years ago, a friend and I talked about Shasta and Whitney.  Although Whitney is taller Shasta is a much better looking mountain and therefore deserves to be taller.  We came up with a scheme to dump 200ft of rocks on Shasta's summit via helocopter so it can be the tallest summit in the contiguous United States.  I suspect I'll never amass the resources to make Shasta taller but I figured some day I'd climb it.

Mt Shasta from the Highway

The summit has mocked me from the highway for years.  Finally I committed to summit Shasta on my 45th birthday.  Unfortunately I didn't make it (see my Misery Hill posting).  On my 46th birthday I left the Mount Shasta trailhead at Bunny Flat with a bigger group then the year before: Chris Wong, Corrina Wong, Kevin Wong, Ryan Wallace an Christina Wallace.

Bunny Flat Parking Lot

Ryan and I continued from Horse Camp where we left the others.

Horse Camp

Ryan and I camped at Lake Helen so we could to start our Summit attempt from 10000 ft the day after my birthday.

Lake Helen

Lake Helen at Sunset

At 04:30 on the day after my birthday we started out for our summit attempt.  Sometime after 10:30 we saw the true summit from the top of Misery Hill.

Summit from the Misery Hil

We had our Cheeseburger lunch on the summit of course.

Cheeseburger Summit

At around 11:30 we left the summit triumphant.

Triumphant Summit

Now that I think of it, it would be easier to knock 200 ft of rock off of Whitney then to add 200 ft to Shasta.

Ripped shirt on Kelly Hill

After the easy jaunt to Windy Hill, some creative hiking and scaling of barb-wire was required for summit 2.  Kelly Hill's fence claimed one of my shirts, but I made it relatively unscathed.  The view from this hill was best to the West, where the great Pacific could be seen through the haze... barely...


Burger 2 was dispatched from atop the round crest of the Summit.  The retreat back to the car led to a shortcut attempt.  Though this route was a fast way to the car, it required a trip to wallgreens on the way back to my temporary home so that I could purchase a pair of tweezers to pull out the many (hundreds perhaps?) of thorns, slivers, and other flora stuck into my hands, legs, and arms.  Despite this annoyance, it felt good to knock off two summits after a long break from successful attempts...