I hiked Big Si and its smaller neighbor, Little Si.
Big Si, also called Mount Si, was an 8-mile slog. The trail was a series of switchbacks through the mountain forest. There was very little variation in the flora along the path, no ponds, no grassy valleys, no rocky clearings. The tiniest change in my surroundings would excite me. These wondrous geological features included a two-foot wide stream that cut across the trail, trees that had fallen from forest fire (around the halfway point, there was a boardwalk and a couple informational placards about the fire), and some third item to make this list complete. However, at this time, I can’t recall a third item, because as a whole the trail did not offer much of note. But at least I was surrounded by trees, at all times, everywhere.
When we reached the top, the fog started to roll in, obstructing the view of surrounding mountains, roads, and valleys.
We stayed at the summit for an hour or so, hoping for the wind to push the fog away. At one point, the clouds opened up. “Look! The sky is blueing! It blue itself!” we excitedly proclaimed. And for less than a minute, we could see Mt. Rainier in all its snow-covered glory.
So again, there wasn’t much to look at on the trail itself, but I imagine the summit would offer a gorgeous view on a clear day. On the plus side, the hike provided a fantastic workout. My leg muscles were sore for a few days. At the top of staircases, I would look down the stairs as if looking down into the abyss, mentally preparing myself for the pain, taking the first step and wincing, wincing with each subsequent step. I can see why hikers use this trail to train for Mt. Rainier.
On a different day, I hiked Little Si. Compared to Big Si, the trail is wider, there are bigger gaps in the trees, more room to breathe. And the breathing is relaxed, because the elevation gain is less than half that of Big Si.
The view at the end of the trail was decent, nothing to write about. No effort exerted, no reward. I can tell I’ve been spoiled by all the hikes in the area. Little Si is definitely less popular than its sibling, Big Si. Little Si is the sibling that is not particularly remarkable, the one that goes through a goth phase in high school, and… there are rock climbing paths on Little Si. Take that, Big Si.