Sunday came and went, the day for Mount Si. And I took three friends of mine up the switchbacks. It only took us 2 hours and 48 minutes for one of the people in our party developed severe leg pain and call it off. Not wanting to leave a man behind on the trail, we all turned around 700 feet from the summit.
Just as well. The one day this entire summer it wants to rain is August 13th.
I picked up everybody after waking at 6, overpacked and overprepared with maps and such, and we were in North Bend by 8:30. For those wondering, the path is very well marked and didn’t really make any of us fear of losing our way. Our party of 4 was passed by people full-tilt running up the trail with nothing but tiny Camelbaks on them.
Meanwhile, I came armed with all my camera equipment, snacks, plenty of water, a first aid kit, a waterproof jacket, and my notebook. “All my camera equipment” meaning my other lens and my tripod.
The first thirty minutes sucked, as my calves yelled at me for trying something such as this so early in the morning. After that, though, I was perfectly fine. The next few hours were spent gaining 2100 feet in a little over 2 miles.
Nothing to see. Nothing to see unless you were super into misty forests. The clouds were so low that they broke through the canopy and created this fog that stopped visibility at about 200 feet. Taking the camera was somewhat pointless.
When my friend did call it off, we began our descent. 15 minutes into walking down, the rain that had been hitting the canopy and making the temperature nice and tolerable finally punched through the trees. It started pouring and continued to the entire hour and 28 minutes back down to the trailhead.
Waste of a trip? Hell no! I enjoyed it. And more than that, I know I can do it now. After that first 30 minutes I had no difficulty whatsoever. What sucks is having that mark of an “Attempt” on Mount Si under the belt. No one wants to fail, not for any reason. Even if that reason is because someone in your party was on the verge of a stress fracture.
There’s always a next time. For now I have a couple of pictures of misty forest from the trip. And a growing personal vendetta against the mountain. I’ll summit that one soon.
And following Sunday, with the hike and with a work potluck meeting, I woke up at 3 AM with the urge to vomit. So I did. On and off for 6 hours until there was nothing left in my stomach but acid. Food poisoning? Overexertion? Who knows. I had to stick myself on the couch and live on a diet of sea salt crackers and Gatorade for a day. Being sick sucks.
Being sick when I was in elementary meant I happily got to stay home from school. Now? Now it means I miss work and social obligations. It goes without saying that I value those things much more than an elementary school education in California.
I woke up this morning pretty much all set to go. I’m sore as hell from the hike and my entire body is recovering from convulsing, but I’m good. I’m alive now. I made french toast, had coffee, shaved, and showered. Now I look good and feel good. That’s a lot better.
I’m listening to Solid Gold by Battle Tapes today, in between drafting poem upon poem. I’m back in action and the notebook I started on June 1st is set to be finished before summer’s end.
In the spirit of that, this excerpt is from “Nailbiter”:
“In an instant, your fingers can
become a bloody mess,
a mark of torn flesh until
the nails grow back again.”
Well I think that’s it for me. I have to get to going on my day and feeling better and all that stuff. Go take a listen to Solid Gold and have a lovely Tuesday!