Monday, May 11, 2009

Hike #7: Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail

Two weekends ago, I (along with TB) went on the toughest hike yet (at least, for me): Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail in Altadena. This hike is about 2.5 miles one-way up a sunny and switchback-heavy trail with a total elevation gain of about 1,400 feet:

When you get to the top of Echo Mountain, you can explore the ruins of a turn of the century (1900s) resort:

...and the railway that took guests up to it:

Before descending or continuing the three miles further to the top of Mount Lowe, you can read both the historic and intepretive signs scattered around the site and relax in several shady picnic areas:

My favorite part was this:

It's not everyday that you get to hear your own yodeling echoing throughout the San Gabriel Mountains:

One of the best things about doing a strenuous hike is that you really have carte blanche to eat as much as you want for lunch. We did just that at the plain-looking Pie 'N Burger, a Pasadena institution. I had been meaning to go there for quite a while since I found out that they did turkey burgers (I don't eat regular burgers) and that it was mostly counter seating (I love eating at counters!)

After 3 hours of hiking, my burger definitely hit the spot. TB said the burger reminded him of a Big Mac, but better. (I don't think I can even remember what a Big Mac tastes like, but I'm assuming that they would be similar because of the Thousand Island dressing.) Anyway, the showstopper (and possible heartstopper) was the Dutch Apple Pie: crumbly cinammon topping, warm and not too sweet apple filling, buttery crust and generous scoops of French Vanilla ice cream. (TB got the rhubarb pie.) In any event, they have more than a dozen kinds of pie (depending on what's in season) at Pie 'N Burger, and I can't wait to try every single one.

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