Hello you wonderful people!!!
I'm living in Seattle! How crazy is that?! I still haven't adjusted to the shift completely- I tend to get lost fairly often still, and that bus system... well that bus system and I have had a very interesting relationship (let's just say that underground stations are a thing, a thing of which I was completely unaware until I walked around a block multiple times because Google claimed that there was a bus stop nearby. Google didn't mention the underground part \o/).
Anywho, to bring this post back under wraps and away from the bus system (which, once you start to learn it, is actually really really nice to have), and back to the topic at hand- Mount Si. For those who are not familiar with the area, Mount Si is an eight-mile round-trip hike in the Cascade Mountains I-90 corridor. It is located about a 30 minute drive from Seattle, and is one of the more popular hikes in the area due to the stunning view of both the valley below, but also the surrounding peaks and (when the weather is clear enough) Seattle in the distance. The hike gains a little over 3000 ft in the course of the four-mile hike from trailhead to tippy-top, and much of the steep path is through the lush forests that the Pacific Northwest is known for. As such, it "falls in a kind of sweet spot for experienced and novice hikers alike: enough of a test for bragging rights, not so tough as to scare people away..." according to the Washington Trail Association's website.
With such promises, Mount Si seemed like an easy choice for a hike to do with my father when he helped me move to Seattle. We chose a Sunday to hike, and then moved it to the following Monday when my move-in date was changed, and I have to say that I'm very happy that we did so. While the trail is undoubtedly oft hiked and the parking-lot busy, that glorious Monday morning the parking lot was practically empty, and while we sometimes had company on the trail, most of the time it was just us and the trees. The hike started out well, both my dad and myself were eager to start and found the trek hard enough to make our breathing change, but not so much that we couldn't cope. Then my personal dread occurred... my knee, which is most likely permanently injured, was aggravated by the heavy lifting that I had forced it to do that day before while moving, and began to give me a goodly amount of pain. I, being a stubborn lass, decided that I had chosen the hike, and I was going to be in a bloody agonizing amount of pain before turning around. As such, my memories of the climb are all viewed through a haze of pain and a small bit of hopelessness mixed with the determination to make it with my dad to the top of the peak.
Despite the slow going and the pain, my father was beyond supportive and we (eventually) made it to the top. The view, hidden for most of the hike by the dense (though lovely) forest, was absolutely stunning. The sky was a brilliant blue, and the oft misty Cascades were standing clear against the September sun. Below us the valley appeared as a patchwork quilt of small towns and forests, and (in the distance) the skyscrapers of Seattle loomed with the Sound unfurled behind it.
We scrambled around the rocky peak until we found a fairly flat spot to eat our lunch. Curious (and hungry) birds stopped by off and on to see if we would feed them, and we watched fellow hikers arrive and depart from the summit. Then, when the flush of exertion began to fade from our faces, and our bellies gurgled happily about their newly filled selves, we began the descent.
As always, the descent takes about half the time that the climb did, and we found ourselves back at the trialhead about six hours after we had departed. Though painful for me personally, Mount Si was an absolutely beautiful hike, and I am so beyond pleased that my father and I were able to make the climb together. I would defiantly recommend making the hike at least once if you are in the Seattle area, just remember that weekends tend to be busy, and to plan your arrival and climb times accordingly!!
P.S. This weekend it was my father's birthday! It is the first time that I've not been there to celebrate with him. So, if you are reading this from my old hometown, and you see my dad, please tell him Happy Birthday from me. :')