I've honestly never been one to really enjoy hiking/camping/anything in the woods. Don't get me wrong I LOVE the outdoors and enjoying all aspects of it, but was just never a real mountain girl. I don't mind a little car camping or day hiking every now and then but don't ask me to go on a multi-night camping/hiking adventure where I don't have access to a toilet and hot water...no thank you!
With that disclaimer in mind, I have REALLY been enjoying some recent day hikes around the Pacific Northwest. It only took me about 8 years of living here to finally realize what amazing hikes we have within driving distance from Seattle!
A couple very recent hikes I went on were:
1. Mt. Si - 8.0 miles roundtrip with 3000' elevation gain
|Mt. Si in the background (snowy peak on right is the top of the hike)|
We reached the summit in about 2 hours and enjoyed some snacks before powering down. The views were amazing but there were a lot of clouds so I'm sure on a super clear day it would be 10x better.
|Top of Mt. Si with Jessey|
SHOE NOTE: I finally made it to the Brooks outlet in Bothell the day before this hike and scored these Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes for 50 bucks! WHAT a difference they made versus hiking in my regular running shoes...shocking information I know ;).
But you know what was challenging? Descending 3000+ feet. While it wasn't heart pounding it was quad and knee pounding. The stead incline meant a stead decline so there was no relief from the quad pounding, joint wrenching until you reached your car. Jessey and I felt like such old ladies complaining about all our pains on the way down, but surprisingly enough the only thing that was sore the next day was my calves! I would most definitely do this hike again and would be interested to if it hurt any less if I do more hikes this summer and try it again.
The very next weekend...
2. Lake Serene - 7.2 miles roundtrip - 2000' elevation gain
My friend Rachel and I decided on this hike after a recommendation from my co-worker. The drive out on Highway 2 was a little longer than I would have hoped for (due to an 25mph tractor trailer that wouldn't move over!), but it was nice to feel a little more "out in the middle of nowhere" compared to Mt. Si. Stacey joined us for this hike and she proved very capable and I promised her I wouldn't leave her home ever again if I went for a hike!
|at some rock waterfalls before going UP!|
|one of MANY sets of stairs|
When you reach the top you go around the corner and BAM...snow and a very chilly lake environment. There was still fog up there so we could just barely make out the lake. As we ate our lunch the fog lifted and it was like watching a curtain being lifted and you have no idea what lies behind it. The lake, the ice, the sheer rock walls were breathtaking. My pictures do absolutely NO justice to how beautiful it was.
|Lake Serene...serene indeed!|
|Stacey really needs to learn how to be more photogenic and look at the camera!|
I'm not one for sitting at the top of a mountain for very long since I only think of how long it will take to get back down, so we headed out shortly after we summited and took in the scenery. Coming down wasn't nearly as painful at Mt. Si since it didn't take as long to get to the point where we pretty much off the mountain. I could tell Stacey's hips were hurting her going back down all the stairs but she still powered through and did great. We made it back to the car in about an hour and a half and immediately drove to the closest McDonald's for fuel (don't judge...hehe).
|someone tried REALLY hard to stay awake in the car but failed :)|
As for that training for the whole Ragnar Ultra thing...I've been running, just not blogging about it. I should get back on that since I have way more motivation to get out there when I tell you all I'm going to do it! I'll work on that ;).
QUESTION: Any Pacific Northwest hikes I NEED to do this summer?