After a New Year’s eve spent lollygagging around Bellingham, Phillip and I continued the trend of coffee shops and cooking big American breakfasts all the way through the fourth of the month. A call from Phillip’s brother, a nudge and a wink from Phillip’s sister, and we were all hurrying off to climb Mount Si, a classic Puget Sound day hike – one that I had never done before. For the first hike of the year, it was a great one!
With our bellies still full of the aforementioned breakfast, we made the quick forty-five minute drive to the tiny town of North Bend, and started up the trail.
After four miles of constant elevation gain (3150 feet), and a brief, slippery scramble through some snow, we reached Mount Si’s rocky peak (though not all at the same time, as I was the caboose for nearly the entire trip). At the summit we opened our packs and pulled out four croissants for a celebratory snack, along with a strange piney beer that we split four ways, sip by sip.
From the top, we had a wonderful view of all of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, as well as much of the Puget Sound. On such a clear day, even the skyscrapers of Bellevue and Seattle could be seen in the distance. Not bad at all for January!
We couldn’t bask in the sun for too long – the gray jays (also known as camp robbers) perched at the top kept pecking at us in hopes of food, and Phillip had to work that evening, so we packed up and started our descent. The ice that proved challenging on the way up turned out to be comedically difficult to traverse on the way down – if I wasn’t doing a pretty convincing Charleston, then I had my arms wrapped around my knees, sliding on my heels and crying out, in a moment of extreme dignity, just how sure I was that I looked like a penguin. I’ll tell you, penguins do it with more grace.
It wasn’t until Phillip locked arms with me and started running that I was able to keep my balance. Or were we just in a controlled fall? Who knows! It was the perfect start to 2014!