Gretel proved she is one tough adventure doggie this weekend.
After the Couch to Peak™ series coordinated through the The Adventureweiner Club of Seattle™ ended I scheduled an advanced hike with the group. I clearly stated that is was a toughie. I chose the Mount Si trail (not the Little SiTrail we have hiked before). It’s the quintessential hike of the Seattle area and is one of the most popular but I have never hiked it.
People preparing to climb Mt. Rainier use this trail for a training hike – usually hiking it several weekends in a row, hiking it with a weighted backpack or running up it. The trail is 4 miles up, up, up from essentially sea level to a 4,200 ft summit. At the top you have to scramble up the “trail” through a rocky section that has makeshift stairs in it. I had heard views from the top included Seattle, Bellevue, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and a large portion of the Cascade Range in general.
Only four of the most hardened adventurers of the group and their super Adventureweiners were brave enough to sign up for this hike. The party included myself, new Adventureweiner members Anne and Sunny her long haired piebald weiner dog (whom we had met while hiking Rattlesnake Ledge the week before), Deb and Sienna (Gretel’s BFF) and Will and his brindle Marshall. Note: Will and Marshall have come on EVERY hike with us since the club started…including the rain-soaked slog up Rattlesnake Ledge where we ended up looking like drowned rats.
Summer is finally here in Seattle as we have had almost a week of temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s so we started out on the trail early aiming to get to the top before the hottest part of the day. We started the hike at 930 in the morning. We hiked up the trail at a steady pace and taking minimal breaks. I think we got to the top in about 3 ½ hours.
We were tired and hot when we got to the last rocky section at the top but we had to press on to get to the actual viewpoint. Gretel led the way up the last rocky scramble. Neither Chester nor Gretel balked at the challenge and picked their way up the rocks like it was no big deal. They were sure ready for lots of treats and water when we got to the top though. There wasn’t much shade to be had but they flopped down in it wherever they could find it.
The whole hike took us about 6 hours. On the way up I could feel the strain on my calves and marching back down the steep trail took a tool on my quads. I think we all were ready for it to be done when it was over. The doggies (Marshall and Sienna were carpooling with us) went right to sleep when we put them in the car. The adults all screamed for cold drinks from Starbucks so that was immediately where we went.
I spent the next two days terribly sore and walking around like a crotchety old man. The dogs spent the next two days sleeping. Other than that they seemed totally fine but I am sure if they could talk they would have been a little sore too. I was so proud of them they got extra treats and some doggie massages this weekend. It was a lot of fun and all the doggies proved they are the real deal when it comes to adventurous weiner dogs!