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Yesterday I hiked up Mount Washington for the first time. I've done a lot of hikes in the area over the years, and this one is certainly a memorable one. The app on my phone said about eight miles round trip, and 3,300 feet elevation gain. This is one of the harder hikes I've done in a while in terms of elevation gain, and often times the trail resembled a rocky stream bed more than a trail.
I climbed up steadily, leaving the dull roar of I90 behind. Even getting an early start, I was still working up quite a sweat as I navigated the rocky footing and steep grade.
It was still early enough in the season for wildflowers, and every so often the forest would open up enough to allow them to bloom and I'd get a glimpse of the surrounding mountains. I could see some of the spots I'd hiked before, McClellan Butte, Mt. Si, Little Si, and Rattlesnake Mountain. I wondered how many times I had gazed at this mountain from those vantage points.
While this hike has some big views, it also has some of those little gems too: the small brook you step over as it fills your ears with the sound of gently falling water, the sweet smell of the flowers and as they shake off their morning dew, the sun just cresting the peaks and gilding the treetops on the way to the valley floor.
Going early also afforded a fair amount of solitude, as I only encountered about half a dozen people on the way up. It was much more crowded coming down, as I passed dozens of hikers making their way to the top.
It was a great morning hike, and one that I may revisit in the Fall.