By Jessi Loerch
“How does she look?” I asked my friend, Michelle.
She looked at my daughter Hazel, who was on my back in a backpack.
“Miserable,” she said.
“But not blue or shivering?”
“Well, that’ll have to do. We’ll just walk fast. She’s ready to be done.”
“I’m ready to be done, too” Michelle said sympathetically to Hazel.
Michelle and I have had terrible luck with weather lately. Every trip we have planned in advance has ended with us looking like we jumped in a lake.
This time, we hiked Little Si. Somehow, I’ve never done that hike, even though I know it’s a classic around here.
Little Si is a sweet little hike. It’s right outside of North Bend and even on a disgusting day, both parking lots were nearly full.
The trail climbs about 1,200 feet and is about 5 miles round trip. It’s a pretty trail, probably even more so on a rainy day.
The day we hiked, the wind was intense, but in most places the trail is protected from the worst of it.
We only stood at the top for a brief moment. The wind was whipping the trees like crazy, and I saw the misty obscured view, and then hightailed it back down the trail.
On the lower portion of the trail, we encountered a problem I’ve never had before. The trees were throwing ice at us. I’ve never had this happen before and I wasn’t prepared for it. I was freaked out that one would hit Hazel. Thankfully, none did. Michelle and I both got smacked, though. My shoulder still hurts.
We did our best to scoot rapidly down the trail. Hazel held up brilliantly. The falling ice didn’t even phase her. Beyond some earlier whining before she fell asleep on my back for a good portion of the trip, she put up well with our rainy adventures.
Until the last quarter mile of the trail — when Michelle made her diagnosis of “miserable.” We hiked the rest as fast as we could, but at that point Hazel had hit her limit. She was done. And she was not going to stop telling us until until we were back at the car.
I was wondering if I’d finally gone too far in taking her outdoors with me. I don’t think so, though. The moment I got her out of the backpack, stripped off her endless layers and put her in her carseat she was happy again. I guess she didn’t hold it against us.
When we started out for the hike, she told me not to get lost. (She doesn’t trust my navigation after I got lost on the way to a birthday party.)
“I won’t get lost,” I told her. “I’m not worried about that. I am a bit worried about carrying you and this big backpack up the hill, though.”
“Easy peasy, Mama,” she said. “Just put me on your back and hike up the hill and then you’ll be big and strong.”
If you go
Little Si is a very popular hike right outside North Bend. You’ll need a Discover Pass to park. (The lots are checked frequently, I hear.) Check WTA for directions and trip reports. Since it’s hiked so frequently, the trip reports are almost always up to date.