|At base of Haystack rock fall. |
Mt. Rainier in background
Five years ago this month, I posted a description of the highly popular (in the Seattle area) climb of Mt. Si. Not only is the climb popular, but that post itself has remained one of the more popular items on this blog -- it receives hits regularly, year after year, and especially summer after summer.
I mentioned in my 2011 post that I had made the climb in one hour, 40 minutes. Since then, as sort of a diary of decline, I've added a comment each time I've repeated the climb, giving the time of ascent.
Between 2011 and 2014, I climbed Mt. Si five times, and my times kind of bounced around, not changing enough to be -- as they say -- statistically significant. Then, last year, it rose to one hour, 49 minutes. I treated that as a fluke, and blamed it on "congestion" on the trail. Today, my time rose to one hour, 54 minutes.
Something is happening here, but for now I'll ignore it. Maybe gravity in the Seattle area is increasing, because of the inward migration of so many workers and construction of so many buildings. Maybe the earth's rotation is speeding up, and my watch shows a longer time because of relativistic effects.
Let's just say that the view from the summit -- or, from the base of the "haystack," where you emerge from the forest -- is stunning. And the gathering of hikers of all ages, sitting precariously on boulders, eating lunches, taking photos, and admiring the world spread out before them -- makes for wholesome and inspiring people-watching. (Today, the show at the top was especially amusing, as camp robbers dive bombed hikers' exposed lunches. They were even landing on outstretched hands and fearlessly eating whatever goodies were offered them.)
The hike would be well worth a four hour climb, if -- God forbid -- it should come to that. I plan to continue climbing Mt. Si at least once a year, regardless of how much time is required, as long as I can still walk.