Archive for August, 2008

Hancock and South Hancock – August 31, 2008 – Flame Broiled

So, after my pittiful summit of Castle Hill in RI I decided to go back to some real hiking up in the Whites. The Hancocks had no idea what they were in for. It is really a lovely hike: the first few miles on the Hancock Notch and Cedar Brook trails are flat (600 vertical feet over 2.5mi), though toads seem to plague the area. Even the beginning of the Hancock Loop trail is gentle, but get ready for a kick in the pants once that trail divides. The AMC guidebook does a good job of describing it (unrelievedly steep), as both ways are rather rocky and steep. Very steep. But, they are worth it. I opted to tackle the North Peak first, as the steepness seemed to last longer. Only a little way from the top, there is a lovely lookout (same goes for the South Peak) and the walk between the two peaks is lovely, though a bit muddy. Watch your knees a bit going down. There were a good number of people headed up as I was headed down, having started at 7:40am. On a beautiful Labor Day weekend, it clearly gets busy, but even starting early in the morning, buy summit time, the haze and fog had cleared, for some interesting views. Plus there can be critters along the Kancamangus Highway (also, the book doesn’t mention this, but there is a connector trail from the parking area to the trail head across the hairpin turn, so you don’t have to walk on the highway). In short, it was a lovely walk, suitable for anyone, and at a good pace, do-able in less than 5 hours.

A Money Shot

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August 31, 2008 at 8:49 pm 2 comments

Summit Cheeseburgers by State

With the recent of addition of Rhode Island to the roster of states with Cheeseburger summits, the Summit Cheeseburger effort has visited 16 states. Using tools made available on the Many Eyes web site, plots of the number of summits achieved in each state were prepared. Click on the images to go to a larger, interactive graph.

Many Eyes springs from IBM’s Visual Communication Lab and is “an effort to encourage sharing and conversation around visualizations.” The hope is that by allowing many people access to datasets and visualizations, someone may provide an interesting insight into the data. The Summitcheese dataset is not complex, so instead of looking for insight, it’s probably just pretty pictures.

August 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Castle Hill, RI – Flame Broiled!

Hello, my name is Meredith, and, last week while hiking the Franconia Ridge, I encountered “Krusty Buns” Craig. Upon asking what he was doing he proceeded to introduce me to the whole idea of Summit Cheeseburger. While my hiking window of opportunity for the summer has essentially closed, on a trip to the beach with my father, I was able to make the less than difficult trek up Castle Hill in Newport, RI (which I believe would be the first RI peak), Junior Cheeseburger from Newport Creamery in hand. I have attached two photos.

It was less of a hike and more of a peaceful drive to the Inn’s parking lot, and a gentle stroll to the high point of the land, where the gentle sea breeze and passing sailboats made cheeseburger consuming very pleasant as guests downed their Bloody Mary’s not far from where I stood.

Castle Hill Money Shot

So, in short, I would be interested in joining the Summit Cheeseburger team, as I do hike a lot over the summer (I was disheartened to see that I had climbed upwards of fifteen listed summits, sans burger, this summer from the list, only two of which had been completed). Also, with my background as a firefighter (specializing in wildlands, but I’ll do anything) I was wondering if the handle Flame Broiled was available.

Thank you,

Meredith

August 29, 2008 at 5:50 am 3 comments

Moose Mountain Bagged

2 down and only 2,174.2 to go on the AT; South Peak Moose Mtn., NH August 24th, 2008; 2222 ft, 1.8 miles each way 1200 ft elevation gain:

GroovyGirl was up for another summit bid. I thought for sure after yesterday’s hike up Mt Cardigan, GroovyGirl might be a bit tired, but this was not the case. The trail is almost entirely in the shade of the elms and oaks, which was quite nice, as it was a rather warm day. We enjoyed the summit alone with our 4 cheeseburgers. One for each, GroovyMom, Dad, Girl and Old Dog. GroovyBoy was asleep and did not consume his picoburger. There are several bogs to cross along the trail, and GroovyGirl slipped into one. Groovy Mom extracted her and we continued on our way. The blistering pace of 3.6 miles in 4 hours was achieved. In fact, GroovyGirl still had enough energy to take GroovyDad swimming in the lake to cool down after our return home.

Moose Mountain, NH

August 24, 2008 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

Three Peaks on the Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, NH – 8/24/08

Finally, after so much wet weather this summer (not that it has stopped me having fun), the sun came out and shone for the whole day and allowed me to do the Franconia Ridge hike that I had planned for when SamIAm and Hamburglar (aka GreenEggsWithSam) were visiting. I kept looking over at Cannon Mountain (where we hiked instead that day) from the Franconia Ridge and saying things like “hmm… that is a pretty steep mountain, eh?” Here’s a shot of Cannon Mtn:

… see the two buildings on top? (click the image to go to the full resolution version if necessary) … the one on the left is a weather station that sits right at the summit. The one to the right is a tramway, so you don’t even have to hike all the way up to get to the summit! Wonder if I should have told them that there was an alternate way down?

Anyway… back to today… the Franconia Ridge hike is a classic White Mountain hike particularly when the weather is as great as it was today. You get three summits (in this section) with amazing views in all directions, a ridge between them that is above the tree line and is part of the Appalachian Trail, and you can stop in at the AMC’s Greenleaf Hut to check out some of the history of the area or get a snack.

Today I was joined by Paris Stilton, without the dog, who has been itching to do this hike since early in the season when I started talking about doing a hike in the Whites with her. She was enthusiastic to say the least, and very capable of keeping up with my “excuse me, coming through!” pace (despite being bruised, blistered and bleeding very early into the hike).

Our hike took us up the Falling Waters Trail for 3.2 miles to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain (4760′), where we enjoyed the first of the parmesan and black pepper burgers (topped with cheddar cheese) that I had prepared the day before. We got there right at noon, about 2 hours after starting out, so we were both ready for a cheeseburger at that point.

Behind Paris Stilton is the ridge to our next summit.

We had passed several groups of hikers on the way up (and I’m proud to say that nobody passed us!), and not surprisingly (given the weather) it was a fairly crowded day on the ridge. The great thing about starting this loop in the direction we did is that you come out of the trees and you’re within a couple hundred feet (trail length, not elevation) of the summit, so you’re immediately rewarded with your first summit and amazing views at the same time.

We headed north on the Appalachian Trail to our next summit, Mt. Lincoln (5089′), and enjoyed the second summit cheeseburger. The trail between these two summits is only 0.7 miles, so it was fortunate that each burger was only 1/6 lb of meat because we really hadn’t had much time to work up an appetite again.

in this photo, we see our next summit waiting for us, the AMC Greenleaf hut along the shoulder to the left of the frame, and my hand.

From summit #2, it was a mere 0.9 miles to the high point of the hike, Mt. Lafayette (5260′) for the third and final cheeseburger of the loop… however Paris Stilton was not quite up for the gastronomical feat and declined her third cheeseburger (I just finished it off now as I’ve been typing this!), so she only gets credit for two today. We also got to watch a glider soaring below us through Franconia Notch. After taking my official photo for the summit, I then had to explain what I was doing to a curious on-looker, so I took the opportunity to do a little marketing… hopefully we’ll hear from Meredith in the near future.

[Note to anyone who pays attention to the summits list on this site… the listing for Mt. Lafayette is very wrong in its elevation listing. The placement isn’t far off, but Lafayette is definitely a 5000 footer and the highest peak along the Franconia Ridge. I hope you didn’t pay much for that data source, I’ve seen it be wrong by a few dozen feet in the past, but this time its off by a few hundred.]

From the summit of Mt. Lafayette, the Appalachian Trail continues its way through the Pemigewasset Wilderness, home of many, many more summit cheeseburger opportunities. For us, we took the GreenLeaf Trail to the AMC Greenleaf Hut and the Old Bridle Path trail back to our starting point, completing a 9 mile loop in about 5 hours and 45 minutes, which included stops for many great photo opportunities along the ridge.

The Franconia Ridge from the AMC Greenleaf Hut

Summits: 3

Cheeseburgers: Krusty Bunz – 3, Paris Stilton – 2

August 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm 3 comments

Turtles, Blueberries, and Jr. Fire Ranger Deputization

July 18th, 2008: Oak Hill, 920ft. (yes that is the total height)

The day started with a gentle path leading us up hill toward a turtle or more likely a tortoise. We rapidly over took the tortoise which at times is hard to believe. At the top, is a FIRE TOWER . Climbing up the narrow stairs to the top we were greeted by Fire tower’s occupant, a Ranger. The ranger deputized Groovy girl and provided her with copious quantities of Smokey the bear paraphernalia. He also pointed us toward a lovely blue berry patch in which we picked a bag full of berries of the next day pancakes.

blue berry pancake

However, before departing, three cheeseburgers were consumed by Groovy, Mom, Dad, and girl.

August 24, 2008 at 6:41 pm 1 comment

The Sun Shines in New Hampshire

Mt. Cardigan: August 23rd, 2008

Wow!! A weekend with no Rain!! After a month of rain, this hike was a real treat. The weather was awesome, clear blue skies, low humidity and a pleasant 70 degrees. The 1.5 mile hike to the summit (3,121 feet) takes you through deciduous forest and into, and through, a boreal forest below the summit. The real treat is the last quarter mile below the summit where the hike is across the polished granite rock (actually it is Kinsman Quartz Monzonite) to the summit. These rocks were formed by the collision of Africa with North America 380 million years ago. The views are outstanding. The cairns are even beautifully built to lead you to the top where a fire tower stands. For Groovy Mom, Dad and Girl, & old dog, this is the third fire tower this year. Groovy Dog, although 14 years old, really enjoys this summit cheeseburger thing. Although you have heard of the nano cheeseburger, we would like to introduce the pico burger.

pico burger

No it is not made with pica meat. The bun is two cheerios with the burger and cheese between the two cheerios….perfect for Groovy boy the youngest cheeseburger summiteers. At 7 months he consumed his first cheeseburger on top of Cardigan Mt. No Cardigan sweaters were worn.

August 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm 1 comment

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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
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