I’ve never have been an avid hiker or outdoorsman despite growing up in the small town of Belfair in Mason County.
In August 2015, I ascended to the summit of Mount Si in North Bend with childhood friend James Martin. It was the first time I had partaken in a hiking adventure since I hiked Green Mountain in Kitsap County in June 2000 during my senior year of high school. Shortly following my hike at Mount Si in the summer of 2015, I told friends and family members I planned on taking up mountaineering as a new hobby.
It never happened.
It took 13 months but I finally got back on the proverbial hiking trail. Martin, who climbed Mount Saint Helens as a 12 year old, suggested in early September that Poo Poo Point would be a moderately challenging hike for me. Poo Poo Point, which is 6.8 miles roundtrip, was 1.2 miles shorter than Mount Si. Finally on Saturday, Sept. 24, Martin and I trekked to Issaquah for my first hike of 2016. As we began our trek up the gargantuan sized uphill terrain, I felt exactly the same way I did when Martin and I hiked Mount Si in 2015. In the first mile I could feel the pain setting in ferociously in my lower back and calves. Martin informed me of my poor posture, which included hunching over while walking uphill, during the first half of the journey. As we continued the jaunt, I asked a few hikers who were on their way down from the summit, how much further I did indeed have to go until I reached the end. Each of them remarked, “You’re almost there.” They could tell I was extremely fatigued by my body language and were kind enough to offer words of encouragement. It felt like forever but we finally we made it to the top of Poo Poo Point. The view from the pinnacle of Poo Poo Point is absolutely spectacular. The Issaquah, Sammamish and Bellevue regions are easily visible from the vantage point on a clear day. After taking a 15-minute break, which included consuming a roast beef sandwich for lunch, Martin and I meandered back down the trail toward civilization.
During the walk down I nearly lost my balance twice due to soreness in my feet and subpar shoes, but luckily I regained my bearings and remained upright and was able to return to my 2013 Subaru Legacy in the parking lot unscathed. Hiking is an absolutely great workout. It is a physically and mentally taxing activity, which is probably the reason why so many different people enjoy mountaineering. I just can’t wait another 13 months to partake in another hike!