What's the Point?

Okay, so we know how I’ll benefit from this endeavor. I’ll gain experience in the great outdoors that will help me write a better book set in the Adirondacks. But you, my dear reader, may well be asking, “What’s in all this for me?” Hopefully you’ll gain a little knowledge, have a few laughs, and vicariously enjoy a sense of adventure. Think of it as a modern-day Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, where you get to sit comfortably at your computer screen – much like Marlin Perkins watching from a safe distance behind some bushes. I, on the other hand, will go out into the wild, ala Jim Fowler, and do all the heavy lifting in an effort to entertain you.

            Well, on second thought…

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46 Sandwiches

A 46er, as defined by the Adirondack Mountain Club, is someone who has climbed all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks (mountain peaks at 4,000 feet or higher). A 46er, as defined by me, is someone who has hiked 45 mountains too many. Really, after the first one you’re just showing off.

            Then there are folks who can’t leave well enough alone and hike all 46 High Peaks in the winter (cleverly known as winter 46ers). For all I know, there are probably people who hike them in alphabetical order (ABC 46ers), or only when the moon is full (mooners).

            It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I am a None-er (rhymes with funner, not boner). Meaning I haven’t climbed a single High Peak. Not in the summer, not in the winter, not in a box, not with a fox.  And I’m fine with that because I prefer living my life closer to sea level.

But on a recent trip to Lake Placid I discovered Big Mountain Deli and Crêperie on Main Street. Their menu includes the 46er Sandwiches; 46 sandwiches named after each of the 46 High Peaks in order of height. The menu ranges from #1 Marcy (Roast turkey, cranberry horseradish sauce, cheddar, apple and cracked pepper mayo), the tallest mountain in New York State, to #46 Couchsachraga (basically a design-your-own sandwich), the shortest of the High Peaks.

I decided on a #13 (Corned beef, Swiss, apple onion relish 
and horseradish mayo). You order by number instead of the mountain name, which is good because I really didn’t want to say Nippletop out loud. It was not only a delicious sandwich, but it gave me a delicious idea. Forget climbing the 46 High Peaks, I was going to eat all 46 of them.

As soon as I announced my plan to my family, I realized I should have done a little more research. Sure, all that hiking can be tough, but eating #28 Esther (Liverwurst, provolone, red onion and cracked pepper mayo) or worse, #29 Upper Wolf Jaw (Creamy egg salad with sprouts) would be every bit as challenging for me. I briefly considered asking one of my family members who like liverwurst or egg salad to eat them for me, but I realized that would be akin to driving up Whiteface (#5) or paying someone to carry me up Algonquin (#2). It was clear I had my work cut out for me.

But I caught a break in my quest to become a gustatory 46er when I discovered that Simply Gourmet, the sister store of Big Mountain Deli, offered the same menu of sandwiches. Even better, it was practically next door to the Whiteface Lodge, where I was staying. So every day at noon I donned my hiking boots (still looking as new as the day I bought them two years ago) and hiked the tenth of a mile to the shop to order my lunch.

I decided to start out with the higher peaks, saving the smaller peaks for days when I might not be as hungry. I sampled #5 Whiteface (Cracked pepper turkey, provolone, avocado, sprouts and mayo), #7 Gray (Roast turkey, sopressata, provolone, roasted red peppers & pesto mayo), #9 Basin (Roast beef, smoked cheddar, red onion, bbq sauce and cracked pepper mayo), and #8 Iroquois Peak (Chicken salad of the day with sprouts and cracked pepper mayo). As I headed out of town on the last day of my vacation, I grabbed another High Peak sandwich to take with me so I could enjoy it at home - #34 Seymour (Roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella and pesto mayo). How many of you hikers can do that with one of the actual mountains?

I hate to brag, but I was able to eat every one of those High Peaks sandwiches without once using my feet. Has anyone hiked the High Peaks without using their feet? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And after conquering six High Peaks in six consecutive days, I’m happy to report that I wasn’t the least bit sore. Although my waistband did feel a bit more snug.

Six High Peaks down, only 40 more to go. Piece of cake. Mmmmm. Did someone mention dessert?

Reader Comments (2)

LOL, Betsy--you've shifted your priorities while keeping the theme. Well done.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterE. B. Davis

What a delightful article. Have you logged into our 46er sandwich register? You have the opportunity to receive a t-shirt that says "I finished my 46!" Each time you eat a sandwich you enter it into the register at Simply Gourmet. Because of your blog, we will enter your sandwiches into the register to get you started.

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