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This person pushed a peanut with his proboscis to the pinnacle of Pikes Peak


So maybe you've driven to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado, and maybe you've even hiked up it by foot. But what about climbing to the summit while pushing a peanut with your nose? Abigail Beckman with member station KRCC in Colorado Springs has the story of someone who did just that.

ABIGAIL BECKMAN, BYLINE: As Bob Salem came crawling to the top, a handful of tourists took notice, taking video on their phones and clapping. He looked weathered and tired, but he smiled as he stood at the top of the 14,000-foot tall mountain.


BOB SALEM: Thank you.

BECKMAN: He'd been crawling on his hands and knees for seven days, flicking a peanut with a bent spoon duct-taped to the mask from a CPAP machine over his nose - a slow-going and Sisyphean trip.

SALEM: When I did it in the daylight and stuff, I'd have to stop, like, every 10 minutes, five minutes and take some pictures, talk to some people and, you know, do all that kind of stuff. So it kind of dragged on the trip a little.

BECKMAN: The 53-year-old Army vet and stay-at-home dad wanted to celebrate the 150th birthday of the town at the base of Pikes Peak and raise money for people experiencing homelessness. Three others have done this before him.

SALEM: I have an old can of survival food, and there are little carbohydrate candies, and I was eating those.

BECKMAN: The plan was for someone to hike the 13-mile trail with Salem and carry his supplies. That fell through. So he did the entire trip alone, aside from a few brave chipmunks checking him out. He said he would hike aways, leave his backpack and then turn around, get his peanut and head back up.

SALEM: I don't feel sore or anything. It's just - I know I lost some weight. It was doing the back and forth that really - that took it out of me.

BECKMAN: Salem used nearly two dozen peanuts. Some fell into cracks between rocks on the trail. The hardest part, he says, was dealing with dehydration. As for what's next, Salem says a shower and a nap.

For NPR News, I'm Abigail Beckman at the top of Pikes Peak. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Abigail Beckman
Abigail grew up in Palmer Lake, Co. She has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and Spanish as well as a Master's degree in communications. Previously, she worked for the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kan. and for 89.1 KMUW in Wichita Kan.