It was 10am in Seattle and the rain was pouring out of the sky. Everyone walked into the coffee shop dripping wet and collapsing umbrellas. It was hours later, while we sipped our coffee that the day slowly started to peek out and before long, the clouds parted and the sun invited us to go on a hiking day trip to the peak of Mount Si. Not being prepared at all, we had to run to an outdoor clothing store and purchase some essentials: long hiking pants, bug/wind repellent jacket, a backpack and bottles of water. In less than an hour, we arrived at the 4,167 foot mountain.
At the beginning of the trail I came across a small walking stick on the ground that was just my size. It was beautiful to see the sun rays shooting through the tall trees and hear the whispering howl of the wind as we got closer to the top. Pushing through the last mile, it was getting slightly harder to breathe. After breaking through the trees, the first thing I saw was a giant pile of rocks. There were rocks everywhere! To reach the very top, it involved a little technical rock climbing through the “Haystack”. Rocks were falling under my feet and tumbling down. My heart was racing. I turned around to see how high Mount Si had taken me and the view was breathtaking. The clouds pushed around the side of the mountain and everything fell white. Breathing in deeply, I looked around and felt a wave of accomplishment.
It only takes a few miles into the sky to realize what you’re climbing for everyday.
Ever since my climb, I’ve been thinking about other day-long hiking trips closer to my home so that my dog can join. I found a few great peaks on the East Coast and some beautiful hiking trails around the Smoky Mountains and that I’ll probably do in the next couple years. If you are thinking about taking an impromptu hike or climb, be sure to pack some essentials.
Impromptu Hiker’s List:
- Hiking boots are so important. I had normal gym shoes and rolled my ankle quite a few times
- Long pants and wind or bug repellent jacket. Even if it’s warm – it will get cooler at the top.
- Take LOTS of water and start out well hydrated.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
- Trail mix. Because… come on.
- Make sure you stretch, stretch, stretch at the trailhead.
- If you’re wearing hiking socks, wear a thin nylon or light sock under. You don’t want blisters.
- Get a walking stick or make one at the start. It’s so helpful with keeping your balance.
- If it’s cold, don’t forget gloves, hat, extra socks and so many layers.
- Other gear: camera, tripod, backpack, compass, bandanna, flashlight, first aid kit, iPod, journal.