Little Si is a short, sweet trail you can do nearly year-round

“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?”

“Nope.”

“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.

More in Life

‘Tasting Cider’ a sweet resource for hard apple cider fans

Erin James, the editor-in-chief of Cidercraft magazine, wrote a book all about the fermented drink.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

You won’t be able to stop eating this colorful chicken salad

The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Fur & Feathers with energetic Lincoln and big-attitude Chase

One dog is not a fan of cats or men. The other definitely prefers adults only.

Food calendar

Food Calendar for Sept. 14 to Sept. 20, 2017

Most Read