It sounds like it could be a mythical moose relative or bigfoot of the north woods, but no, the Moosilauke Monster is a pizza of gigantic proportions. Named for nearby Mount Moosilauke, over which the AT passes, the monster has two crusts, layered with sauce, four meats (Italian sausage, ground beef, ham and pepperoni), mushrooms, peppers, onions and what might be a dairy’s daily production of cheese. Weighing in at seven to eight pounds (depending on the chef’s mood?), if this monstrosity can be eaten by a team of two mere humans in under 90 minutes, it’s on the house! “The house” is the Green House Restaurant in Warren, NH; not far from the Hikers Welcome, a hostel where several of us thru-hikers were spending a night or two back at the end of July.
Our Hikers Welcome hosts, Phatt Chap and Miss Janet, shuttled several of us hungry hikers from Glencliff to nearby Warren for dinner at the Green House, and when we got there, Twisted Tree (a section-hiker who had not been on the trail NEARLY as long as us) declared his ambition to have a go at the Monster. I let him know that if he needed an eating partner, I was his guy! We shook on the agreement, declaring ourselves a team.
Owing to my frail-looking stature perhaps, there might have been a bit of doubt in Twisted Tree’s mind as to whether or not I could hold up my end of the bargain. He offered a side-deal; “Whaddya say that if one of use eats his share and the other doesn’t, then the guy who doesn’t has to pay the twenty bucks for the pizza?”
“I’m all over that,” I agreed. A few minutes later, when Twisted Tree offered the means to develop the munchies, (“so we’ll be sure we have the appetite for it”), I began to doubt my new partner’s capability. I was thinking, “If he needs to boost his appetite with artificial means, he doesn’t have what it takes; I’m glad we made the side deal!”
At last, after the rest of the dozen or so in our party were served, they brought out the Mooosilauke Monster, announcing to the entire restaurant that there was a challenge being pursued. As soon as I saw it, though onlookers may have gasped, I relaxed. I’d have no problem doing my 3 1/2 to 4 pounds. Twisted Tree reacted differently. In the end, he paid. To top it off, I had a “Hungry Man’s Breakfast the next day before hiking. Twisted Tree took another day off.