Sunday, March 13, 2005

HOORAH! I did it! My first official hike of the year!

Think of Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman". I used to love the way he would say "hoorah"!

Well I was really excited, longing for it and I finally did it! It was a beautiful day and the trail was perfect! Apparently everyone else had the same idea as we were very fortunate to get a parking spot as someone was leaving when we arove.

We hiked the "Little Si" trail which is 5 miles round trip to an elevation of 1500 feet. Prior to this I have been walking for at least an hour nearly every day on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail but I do not consider that hiking. That is walking because it is all level and flat. The Snoqualmie Valley trail is an old railroad grade that was used to cart supplies between the small towns of Duvall and Fall City back in the day. The trail extends for 36 miles and I have been on 5 portions of it so far.

On the steroids I can walk pretty fast on flat and level terrrain but uneven and steep grades are slow going for me. I took my hiking poles and used them mostly on the way up and on the way down. On the level parts I did not need them. Normally this is an easy hike but I found coming down very challenging with my balance as there are many steep grades, large roots, large sharp rocks, and shards of sharp rocks to slip and fall on. So I was extra cautious not to trip and fall onto some stump that would pierce me or something that may damage my eye.

Last time I hiked this trail I think I was off steroids and had a very difficult time in the fall (September I think?). Back then I fell and puked several times on the way up. I was dizzy and exhausted but determined to make it to the top. This time I felt fantastic! I was not exhausted at all! I think I fell like twice but they were not bad falls. I think once I tripped over a rock I did not see and the other time I just could not negotiate my balance on this steep step and I kept sitting back down. In fact, there were a couple times when my foot got snagged on a root and I was able to recover my balance without falling!

I don't know if you are all hikers but for me there is nothing more satisfying then making it to the summit of a mountain on your own. Driving to one is glorious but it just is not the same rewarding feeling as putting in the effort doing it yourself. The top was just amazing! The day was perfect and there was a slight breeze which felt good and kept us from overheating as we hiked in t-shits. The view of the cascades and overlooking North Bend was so serene and calming. The large mountain "Mt. Si" looked absolutely majestic in the afternoon sun and every detail of its geologic features were etched finely today. It gave me something to look forward to as one of my goals is to make it up there this summer.

I have included links to these 3 trails in my post from yesterday titled "The munchies are back" if you are interested in seeing some photos and more info on these trails. The links can be found at the end of the post.

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