|JANUARY 31, 2009 It had been almost 2 months since my
last hike, so I headed to Mt. Si for a conditioning hike. I had
afternoon plans and needed to be back at the trailhead by 1:00, so I
would have to hike fast to reach Haystack Basin before my turn around
time. It was a frosty 36º when I left
the trailhead, and the hike was pleasant all the way to Snag Flats.
The trees in the flats were frosty, and the sunlight filtering through
them was pretty. The forest looked like something that would
have inspired Robert Frost: Hiking through the Woods on a Frosty
Day. Or would he have focused on the quality of sunlight through
the frosty trees? At any rate, it was beautiful.
The trail became very slick just after I reached the 2 mile marker, one of my hiking poles collapsed, and when I stopped to put traction devices on my boots, I realized I hadn't packed my micro spikes. The chains I had with me were ineffective on the compact snow, and the conditions got worse the further I hiked. By the time I reached the overlook at the 3.5 mile marker, I decided to turn around. I spent a few minutes admiring the view, but I failed to tighten my boot laces, and by the time I returned to Snag Flats, I had blisters on blisters. In the short time between when I left Snag Flats and when I returned, the frost had melted and the trail was improving. This hike would probably been very different if I had started hiking an hour later than I did. Despite not reaching my destination, less than perfect trail conditions, and the aggravation of blisters, this was a good hike and I'm looking forward to coming back.