Eagle Peak – Among the raptors – 09/10/2009

October 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm 1 comment

I was off to a late start on a scorching day in San Diego. It couldn’t be helped. Once again, I drove through downtown Ramona and was presented with several options for cheeseburger satisfaction. This time, I opted for the Cheeseburger Deluxe from Jack-in-the-Crack.

And by crack, I mean box. And by box, I mean there is no box any more. Just a weird red cube that is the new logo. There isn’t any graphic Jack on the logo any more, just the word “Jack.” The clown is only in the commercials and on posters inside. You’d think one would take more advantage of the branding potential of an easily recognizable large-headed spokesperson. Nope, just a red box with a scripted “Jack.”

But I digress…

Regardless of any logo-identity issues, the cheeseburger proved to be worlds better than the forgettable cheeseburger I had on my perilous trip to Mount Gower (See earlier post.) I don’t even remember where I got the other burger. But this one was great. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t have 4 hours of waterless wandering as I did on the previous hike. Or perhaps this burger was just plain better.

I drove past Wynola into the rolling grasslands just southeast of Julian, CA, and nearly drove off the road while enjoying the view. I then passed an overturned car in a field in the Inaja Reservation that showed me how perilous this trip could be if I wasn’t careful.

Overturned car in the Inaja Reservation

I will keep my eyes on the road

With temperatures flirting with the mid 90’s, I started up the trail. One part of my mind was on the burger I would eat at the top and the other part of my mind was on the soda that would be waiting for me back in my car at the trailhead. Another part of my mind was on the dusty trail that lead upward through the sun-baked grasslands. Another part of my mind was humming the Hot Dog song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you simply haven’t had children in the past few years.)

Will I eat a cheeseburger on Cuyamaca Peak? Sources say 'Yes'

Will I eat a cheeseburger on Cuyamaca Peak in the future? Sources say "Yes"

I scooted down the trail, wondering aloud why I chose to hike on a day that I knew would get to 100 degrees when I spied a familiar sight. Once again, I found a mylar balloon tangled into the sage scrub. This one was nowhere near as cute at the hello kitty balloon in my earlier post. I imagined some child weeping for days at the loss of this fading, flaccid balloon. I crumpled it up and stowed it in my pack. As I noticed the pink color staining my hands, part of my mind wondered how long it had been out here. Another part of my mind wondered if the colors would wash out easily, if at all. A third part of my mind was wondering if it was made in China and has lead-based ingredients that were causing serious reproductive harm (Thanks, Wikipedia). The last part of my mind was singing “Wheels on the Bus” (see previous child comment).

Yet another mylar balloon in the backcountry

Was this balloon killing me softly?

I made it to the peak and was presented with glorious views of Boulder Creek and El Cajon Mountain. It was as if there was a canyon dividing Ramona from the area around Julian. Actually, there is a canyon dividing Ramona from the area around Julian, and I was dangling my legs into it (well really a perpendicular canyon, but close enough). There were many birds taking advantage of the drop off and soaring on the thermals. I am sure they were eying my cheeseburger, ready to swoop down and snatch it from my hungry grasp. Luckily, I swallowed the thing practically whole and managed not to drop it, or myself, into the abyss.

Enjoying cheesy goodness over oblivion

Enjoying cheesy goodness over oblivion

Boulder Creek with El Capitan beyond

Boulder Creek with El Capitan beyond

Red-tailed hawk over Eagle Peak

Red-tailed hawk over Eagle Peak

I got down safely the way I had some, nourished by the cheeseburger and the thought that I didn’t need to steal water from a garden hose to avoid dying in the backcountry. That’s always a good thing.

Part of my mind was of the journey behind me. Another part of my mind was on the journey ahead. A third part of my mind was singing, “We’re going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship…”

Yes, I have a child.


Entry filed under: California Summits. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. sirloinofbeef  |  October 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Nice post – good to hear from you again. Glad to see you didn’t drop that burger into oblivion.



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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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