At the start of the summer, my goal was to do one hike per week, totaling 13 hikes by September 23, the first day of autumn. Our hike last week at Paradise was number 13, but there remained more than a week of summer left, so on September 20, Mr. D and I did one last bonus hike. I had a lot of other things that needed doing that day, so we opted to do a shorter hike—the Talus Loop Trail on Mount Si. This is a kinder, gentler hike, not the four-mile, 4,100 foot slog up to the top of Mount Si. Mr. D does that hike numerous times during the year, even in winter. I've never had any inclination to join him, despite the fact that it's one of the most popular hikes in the state.
As you can see from the sign, it's 1.7 miles from the trailhead to the start of the 1.3 mile loop; 4 miles round trip. There is a fair amount of uphill on this trail—a 1,700 foot elevation gain. The forest we hiked through was beautiful, filled with moss-laden trees, like this one:
There were some large Douglas firs along the trail, too, and here and there we came across some tiny streams wending their way through the forest.
About half-way through the hike, we came to the highest point, a rocky ridge, with some large flat boulders that made a great place to sit and have a snack and enjoy the peek-a-boo view of a very familiar mountain.
Mr. D tells me that the view of Mount Rainier is even more spectacular from the top of Mount Si, and because I survived the hike to Surprise Lake, I could certainly survive Mount Si. Hmmm...maybe next year.
While this isn't necessarily the end of my 2011 hiking season, the weather is getting cooler and there will soon be snow in the higher elevations, so it may be lowland hikes, walks and adventures in the coming weeks. Whatever we do, I'll be sure to document them here.