With each step along the quickly ascending trail, the 9-to-5 fades. The gray office walls fall away. And in their place, soaring tree trunks and moss-laden granite walls. The emails and conversations of the day hush themselves. The only sounds become boot steps on dry dirt and the creak of the trees. For my girlfriend and me, this is the post-work social gathering.
This is our happy hour.
Rejuvenating evening hikes are easier to find outside Seattle than is something good on the tube. I haven’t owned a T.V. in five, six years, maybe? Really, I don’t see the need. It can’t fill my lungs with mountain air; move my legs to exhaustion; nor my soul to freedom. The Cascades can. And they always do.
This is where we go on Thursday evenings—because we can.
Maybe we’re spoiled here in the Northwest. Maybe those who know, take advantage of what they have access to. Maybe the mountains are just waiting to welcome the claustrophobic, the restless, the seekers.
Mt. Si, 30 minutes outside the city, is a popular hike. Four miles straight up and four straight back down, with rocks and roots to make you wish the suspension in your knees had a few more inches of travel to it. It’s the down that will get to your bones.
But never mind those, the top has already stolen away your breath—and your heart.
It’s up here, on summer nights, that I give the 360-degree spin and yell to my friend, to the world: “This! See this!?—This is our playground!”