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Cheeseburgers in Paradise

Moab in March=Paradise. Or so we thought.  Our original plan was to ride the famous White Rim Trail in Canyonlands.  100 miles on mountain bikes over three days.  When we went to pick up camping permits we were informed that even the Park Rangers on patrol on the trail had to turn back due to the ice on the trail and there was more wet and snowy weather due on Saturday.  hmmm... Good thing someone in our party (me!!) had thought of another option! 

Contigency plans are always best made in advance and I had perused the Summit Cheeseburger data base prior to our departure to find suitable summits.  There were 4.  So I made burgers and hoped the rest of the group would go along.

Saturday dawned and the weather was too cold, wet and snowy to mountain bike so we drove out to Canyonlands. Our first objective was Upheaval Dome.  Some say it was formed by a meteor impact.  Others think it was a Salt Dome.  I thought it was a perfect place to enjoy a delicious cheeseburger.

Holliday Hill. Hannibal, MO

Following the ascent of Harrison Hill in Hannibal, I hustled across town to Holliday Hill in Hannibal.  

Short report here:

  1. Drive up a series of badly potholed roads, each one steeper than the one before.
  2. Arrive at the top of Holliday Hill, and have a surprisingly good view of the Mississippi River Valley in between the houses.
  3. Step outside of car, pose for burger shot on the road.
  4. Hear a door to a house open behind me, and immediately after hear "BOY, WHAT YOU DOING?!".
  5. Quickly realize that he's a lot bigger and angrier than me.
  6. Poorly explain Summit Cheeseburger while retreating.
  7. Accept that urban mountaineering is far more dangerous than any Himalayan Peak. 

Harrison Hill. Hannibal, MO

The destination was Hannibal, Missouri for a few days, and I felt it necessary to research the local topography for some accessible summits.  I think it was meant to be, as I found two summits that did not require leaving the road (For those who have read my previous posts, you'll know that this is just the way I like 'em).

The first stop was Harrison Hill, a pretty simple drive up the aptly named Harrison Hill Road:

I waited a brief moment for trafic to subside and assumed the position with the lovely golf course view. 

 Whatever this one lacked in taste it made up for in comfort.  Next.

Triathlon with a Summitcheeseburger bonus

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Triathlon:

 

  1. Ski Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom, Idaho
  2. Soak in Lava Hot Springs
  3. Snowshoe near the Dome in Clifton, Idaho

 

The great part about the trip was being able to stay with Chuck and Jeanie at their geodesic dome home overlooking Twin Lakes, Idaho.  Being driving distance to Pebble Creek Ski Area and Lava Hot Springs, and a walk out the door to a Cheeseburger Summit, the dome was a perfect base for the Idaho adventure weekend.  We could see the peak from the dome, and on the map it looked to be about 2 or 3 miles away, so we donned our snowshoes and set off down the hill, across frozen and snow-covered Twin Lakes, over hills and fields covered with sage, snow, and lots of deer, and up to the peak.  The day was cool, crisp, partly sunny, and filled with incredibly beautiful views in all directions of rural Idaho and distant mountains.   Luckily Chuck had hamburger in the freezer that Groundround could fry up for the tasty cheeseburgers that we consumed at the summit.

Snowshoeing across Twin Lakes.  Little Mountain is the peak on the far right in the distance.

Almost there.

Found the survey marker.

Cheeseburgers on top.

Apres cheeseburgersummitting in front of the dome.

Mount Carmel

I have to quickly post this since it is the last day of the year and I have to get on record that the first peak in Connecticut was conquered in 2012! October 26, 2012 I wanted to take a hike with the family so we headed over to Sleeping Giant State Park to hike Mount Carmel. Unfortunately this is not the Mount Carmel of biblical fame, but the religious settlers of the area certainly named it after that mountain.  The mountain is also known as Sleeping Giant because the profile is supposed to look like a sleeping giant… Anyway, the high point of the mountain has a stone tower from which we took our pictures. The greatest thing I learned from this experience was that my thirteen month old son needs his own summit cheeseburger! We didn’t bring him one (he had never eaten a cheeseburger before), but we handed him my wife’s cheeseburger for a picture and he ended up eating half of it.

Hawkeye Point - 4/50 completed, 46 to go...

A weekend trip to visit a friends house in southwestern Minnesota does not contain many things to do. Something was needed to make the time pass in this rural farmland. I quickly realized that we would be within easy driving distance of Hawkeye Point. I had already climbed the highest points in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota and jumped at the chance to do it again in Iowa. I am officially a Summit Cheeseburgerer but not officially a High Pointer (someday soon I'll officially join them, for now its unofficial).


The summit was a very easy climb. It involved driving up to as far as your car could go, getting out and walking the 30 feet to the summit. While it was the highest point in Iowa it was hard to tell if other points were higher than it. The burgers eaten were purchased from a local fast food establishment. They were very delicious. The drive was the most difficult part as it was an hour away from my friends' house. It involved driving through the very dull Great Plains.

 

It was very nice of the Osceola County to set aside this land for people like me to use. There were four posts with each of the highest points in each state. It is interesting to note that Florida has the lowest high point of all 50 states at 325 feet above sea level.

 

I anxiously await another Cheeseburger and High Point Summit. 

 

Hmmm so good.

 

Being a tourist!

 

There are literally corn fields right next to this summit. 

Lookout Peak

We almost called off today's Cheeseburger Summit hike to Lookout Peak as the wind was really blowing this morning.  But we thought we'd hike anyway as the dogs needed some exercise and it was pretty warm for December.  We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Killyon's Canyon trailhead and the air was calm.  So we hiked for about two miles over frozen mud.  We turned north and headed up the ridge. As more the views got better and better we started to feel the wind.  Atop the ridge the wind was pretty strong but it was still fairly warm.  And then came the false summits.  About 4 or 5 of them.  The wind was gale force by the time we reached the peak and the warm day was but a happy memory. We pulled burgers from our packs, took our photo and practically ran back down to warmer weather.  When we hit the bottom of the canyon the mud had thawed and we had quite the slog, each of us carrying at least 5 pounds of mud on our shoes.   High point of the day:  a bald eagle flying low right past us looking for lunch!  

The Mount of Olives

This is a delayed report, but I’m pleased to finally make my first contribution. I was on an archaeological dig in Israel this last summer, and I was determined at some point during my stay to consume my first summit cheeseburger.

I hiked over 200 miles while there. My first journey was a high-mileage, one night trip from Nazareth to the kibbutz I was staying at just northwest of the Sea of Galilee (not far from Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, etc.). The second leg was a six day, 160+ mile trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem—essentially accomplishing my idea of hiking from Galilee to Jerusalem and seeing a side of Israel tourists don’t really get. Unfortunately, though I did summit a few peaks, some quite famous, I wasn’t adequately prepared to consume a cheeseburger on these peaks. All along, however, I knew there was at least one peak I would get before leaving—The Mount of Olives.

Though the Mount of Olives certainly has holy connotations and contains a number of areas sacred to various peoples, in general it is just a normal, urbanized area. I hope no one finds my selection of peak offensive, but a cheeseburger must be eaten on every summit. Due to the mount’s fame, I thought it a prime candidate upon which to consume my first summit cheeseburger. After hearing my plan, a friend I had made just the day before wanted to be part of this historical moment. Assuming the local McDonald’s was kosher (as many in Israel are), I planned on purchasing some cheese for my burger from a grocer in the Old City near where I was staying. I was pleasantly surprised when the McDonald’s worker asked me if I wanted cheese on my burger. I guess that one isn’t kosher after all. Cheeseburgers in hand, on July 9, 2012, we made the trek across the city and up to the top of the Mt. of Olives. Right next to the top is a great observation point from which we took most of our pictures. Our actions of course provoked many odd looks and questions from other tourists. Though they thought we were strange, we still got a couple to take pictures of us.

I’m proud to finally contribute a cheeseburger summit, especially since I believe it is the first summit to be conquered not only in Israel/Palestine, but the entire Middle East.

Summit Cheeseburger meets Jerusalem

Touch-Me-Not and Cabot Mountains in NY's Catskills

On Saturday, I led a hike for Schenectady ADK to Touch-Me-Not and Cabot Mountains, two small peaks in the western Catskills.

It seemed like a long drive to Little Pond State Campground, south of Pepacton Reservoir and southwest of Margaretville, but it was really only about 2 hours.  We parked outside the closed campground gate, and walked in to the start of the blue trail up Touch-Me-Not, a fairly steep and relentless climb of about 700 feet.  There was lots of recent blowdown along the way as a result of recent high winds and coastal storms, and we cleared what we could without any tools.

Stopping at the summit for the requisite cheeseburger, there was no view except the trees around us.


 

Beyond the summit, we turned west on the red-marked Finger Lakes Trail for the short walk to the base of the even steeper climb up Cabot Mountain.  Though this climb was only about 400 feet, the steepness and the slippery downed leaves made for slow going.  There was a nice viewpoint near the summit, but the air was so hazy that views were not all that good.


 

After lunch and a second cheeseburger at the summit, we descended via the yellow trail, through the ruins of an old farmstead, and back to Little Pond.  From there it was an easy walk along the pond past campsites and back to the cars.  (I'll add this post to Cabot once my addition to the database is approved by the Big Cheese)

Not a very photogenic day, so no pictures, but it had been a good hike with friends on a better than expected weather day.

Touch-Me-Not and Cabot Mountains in NY's Catskills

On Saturday, I led a hike for Schenectady ADK to Touch-Me-Not and Cabot Mountains, two small peaks in the western Catskills.

It seemed like a long drive to Little Pond State Campground, south of Pepacton Reservoir and southwest of Margaretville, but it was really only about 2 hours.  We parked outside the closed campground gate, and walked in to the start of the blue trail up Touch-Me-Not, a fairly steep and relentless climb of about 700 feet.  There was lots of recent blowdown along the way as a result of recent high winds and coastal storms, and we cleared what we could without any tools.

Stopping at the summit for the requisite cheeseburger, there was no view except the trees around us.


 

Beyond the summit, we turned west on the red-marked Finger Lakes Trail for the short walk to the base of the even steeper climb up Cabot Mountain.  Though this climb was only about 400 feet, the steepness and the slippery downed leaves made for slow going.  There was a nice viewpoint near the summit, but the air was so hazy that views were not all that good.


 

After lunch and a second cheeseburger at the summit, we descended via the yellow trail, through the ruins of an old farmstead, and back to Little Pond.  From there it was an easy walk along the pond past campsites and back to the cars.  (I'll add this post to Cabot once my addition to the database is approved by the Big Cheese)

Not a very photogenic day, so no pictures, but it had been a good hike with friends on a better than expected weather day.