Looking down the haystack 'path'
Mount Si seems to be the classic Seattle hike. Generally if you live in Seattle and like to hike, you've hiked Mount Si at least once if not several times. At least that is the impression I get. I like to think of myself as a hiker, though if I look at my actions for the past several years, I'm not sure how accurate it is to apply that label to me. I get out and do naturalist wanders frequently, but not so often do I go on what I would consider a hike. But after living in the Seattle area for 4 years, I finally got around to going up Si yesterday.
I would call the hike moderately strenuous - 4 miles each way with an elevation gain of a bit over 3000 feet. Fortunately battling my carpal tunnel syndrome has helped get me in better conditioning in recent weeks (exercise seems to improve my symptoms for some reason), so I felt reasonably comfortable. The weather was cool and overcast, I'm not sure if that was a detractor for hikers, or considering the recent heat wave perhaps it was a motivator. At any rate the trail was very well populated, even quite a few people still starting up as we were reaching the bottom in the late afternoon.
I enjoyed walking up through the woods - it reminded me a bit of some Sitka hikes. Unfortunately the view from the top consisted of thick clouds - guess I will have to go up there another time when the visibility is better.
I was quite curious about the hay stack (a large rock outcrop at the top of the mountain). Last year I had talked with a friend who had warned me about how crazy it was and how it shouldn't be attempted. Of course that just made me more interested in giving it a try. I thought it was fun (apparently there is more than one trail up, I'm not sure of the relative difficulties of the others). I enjoy going up stretches like that in part because they are exhilarating but not exhausting. Julie at first decided she was not going to risk the climb, but when I got to the top and looked back to see if I could see her at the base I was surprised to see her half way up. We even managed to coax her up the last twenty or so feet to the very top, quite a brave performance.
View at the top of the haystack