A Man Pushed A Peanut Up A Mountain With His Nose

Using Just His Nose This Man Pushed A Peanut Up The Pikes Peak!

The story of a man pushing a peanut up a mountain with his nose might sound like a comic strip plot. But it is very much true. In 2022, Bob Salem, 53 years old pushed the peanut all the way to the summit of Pikes Peak breaking all existing records. Surprisingly, he was not the only one to try this out. Salem is the fourth individual to make this daring stunt.

As odd as it may sound, the challenge has been going on for several decades. This story begins in 1929 with Bill Williams from Texas, who took the challenge as a result of a bet. Three people have reached for the record one after the other over the years. Let’s delve into the details of these extraordinary feats and the people who dared to push the limits of what seems possible.

Bob Salem: Pushing A Peanut Uphill

More recently, Bob Salem undertook the challenge during Manitou Springs’ 150th birthday celebration. He completed the task in 7 days. Salem chose to push mostly at night to avoid distractions and manage the physical demands of the task, such as dehydration and fatigue. Salem’s modern twist on the feat highlighted the enduring appeal of such stunts.

Salem continued his hike up with the peanut often in the dark as there were a lot of distractions and challenges with the heat during the day. Throughout his challenge, Salem has used nearly two dozen peanuts as many fell into cracks between rocks on the trail.

Using Just His Nose This Man Pushed A Peanut Up The Pikes Peak
Image source: Colorado Public Radio (Bob Salem holding the peanut and the two plaques)

“When I did it in the daylight and stuff I’d have to stop every 10 minutes, five minutes, and take some pictures, talk to some people and do all that kind of stuff so it kind of dragged on the trip a little.”

Bob Salem
Using Just His Nose This Man Pushed A Peanut Up The Pikes Peak
Image source: Denver7

Salem wanted to tag along with someone else on his journey to help him carry his backpack and supplies. However, he carried the feat all by himself. He has eaten peanuts, candies, pop tarts, crackers, and bananas to keep his strength up. After ending the challenge, Salem received a jewelry box from a representative of the city of Manitou Springs. He held his final, winning peanut in there. Salem also received two plaques celebrating his commitment and effort.

First Three Peanut Pushers!

The Original Challenge: Bill Williams’ 1929 Stunt

Bill Williams of Rio Hondo, Texas was known for his daring nature and desire for stunts. In 1929, he placed a bet with his neighbors that he could push a peanut up the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak using only his nose. The bet? A hefty $500—equivalent to over $9,000 today. He was given 22 days to complete the 22-mile hike. 

William armed himself with a strategy that included a supply of spare peanuts, gloves, and leather kneepads for the brutal task ahead. Williams completed the hike in 20 days, capturing the media’s attention and gaining a bit of fame for his unusual achievement.

Image source: Medium / a Newspapers.com- The Oakland Post Enquirer, Mary 28, 1929, pp. 2

Ulysses Baxter

Following in Williams’ footsteps, Ulysses Baxter tackled the same challenge in 1963. But with a unique twist: he used a spoon strapped to his nose. Starting his journey at the base of Barr Trail, Baxter’s goal was to repeat the feat under intense scrutiny. 

He completed the push in nine days, beating Williams’ time significantly. Baxter’s effort not only proved his physical endurance but also served as a publicity stunt that brought him brief fame.

Image source: New Philadelphia Times, OH, July 18th, 1963 Via Newspapers.Com
Image source: The Colorado Springs Gazette (Original peanut pushed up by Ulysses Baxter in 1963, placed at The Manitou Springs Heritage Center and Museum)

Tom Miller

In 1976, Tom Miller, a University of Colorado student also attempted the stunt. He set a new record by pushing a peanut up Pikes Peak Highway in less than 5 days. His intense journey involved careful preparation and a significant physical toll. Miller demonstrated the sheer will to overcome seemingly trivial yet incredibly challenging tasks.

The Motivations Behind the Madness

These stunts were not just about the physical challenge but were often used as publicity tools. For instance, Baxter was a rockabilly singer who initially resisted the idea but eventually saw it as a means to achieve fame. 

Despite the brief spotlight, Baxter’s life after the stunt was marked by shifts away from music to other incidents. It reflects on the fleeting nature of fame. 


The stories of the peanut pushers continue to fascinate and inspire, showcasing the bizarre yet profound ways in which humans strive to demonstrate their resilience and creativity. These stories are a testament to the enduring appeal of human curiosity and determination.

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