MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRXM) — Only three people in history have managed the nutty task of pushing a peanut up the steep slopes of Pikes Peak. 53-year-old Bob Salem isn’t planning on setting any records, but if he succeeds, he will be the first person in the 21st century to complete the journey.
Salem said that he’s a collector, and now he plans to bring an odd past back to life.
“I love collecting history of the local area and stuff like that, so getting to be a part of it and actually being out there is pretty cool,” Salem said.
When Salem learned the Historic Museum in Manitou Springs was looking for a 21st-century peanut pusher, he jumped, or crawled rather, at the opportunity.
“I am just trying to flick this thing up,” he said.
History was made in 1929 when Bill Williams was the first to achieve the bizarre feat, and he did it to win a bet.
“No, I didn’t lose a bet I actually volunteered for this,” Salem told FOX21.
He said he just wants to bring some excitement to Southern Colorado and keep Manitou Springs weird.
“That’s the goal,” Salem said.
Perhaps the most notorious peanut pusher was rock music star Ulysses Baxter, who in 1963 performed the push in a record-breaking eight days.
“Ulysses helped with little clues on getting up the mountain,” Salem said. “He actually went up the highway, the Pikes Peak highway, so I think his route was a couple of miles longer.”
Salem will begin his journey on July 7 on the Barr trail. He expects to reach the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak by July 17.
“We’re going to have a bunch of people here at the bottom and I guess there will be a drum circle,” Salem said. “It’s just another way to get everybody to look at this little city.”
It’s all happening 46 years after the last pusher, Tom Miller, reportedly smashed Baxter’s record to the top in less than five days.
Still, Salem said he is in no rush and plans to take plenty of breaks.
“You know as amazed as everyone seems to be when they hear I am going to do this, I mean, myself, I am a little surprised,” Salem said.
You can view the Travel Channel’s recap of previous peanut pushers at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center.