adam and i partake of low-hanging fruit on the olympic peninsula for a friday afternoon hike

This morning Adam and I took the 10:40 ferry to Bainbridge Island en route to the Olympic Peninsula for a short day hike on Mt. Zion (4.6 miles, 1,300 feet elevation gain). I chose this grandiosely-named bump in the foothills out of curiosity. Mt. Zion? Adam did a really good job walking under his own power the first mile, but I carried him on my shoulders for the upper half of the journey. During a sweaty break near the top when I put him down for a moment to relieve my aching shoulders and neck, two nice ladies on their way back to the trailhead asked if they could take our picture because “you guys look so cute”. Translation: Awwww! Look at the miserable-looking dad struggling to get his little boy up the mountain! I didn’t look like I belonged on a hiking trail, I was sweating like mad the way I always do (Adam’s pants were soaked from being up on my shoulders….as always I anticipated that and brought extra clothes for him). I thought about convincing the ladies to not turn around prematurely as they were so achingly close to the summit, but they were spooked by the non-stop gunshots ka-booming in the valley below. I knew it was just bored guys from Quilcene shooting into gravel pits, although Adam made me proud when he told the women the shooters were rude for carrying on so close to a hiking trail.

We also met a teenage girl on her way down blasting Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) so loud on her headphones it sounded like she was carrying a transistor radio.

The view climax of Mt. Zion was a big disappointment because the cloud deck lowered while we were hiking up in the forest, but Adam and I had a good time together above the sea of green below. He stomped around in Mt. Zion’s last snow patch of 2011 and practiced rock climbing. I carried him all the way down the mountain. I felt disappointed for the two ladies who chose to turn around because of the obnoxious target practice below, they were less than a quarter mile from the top. I wished the staggering number of rhododendrons lining this trail had at least been in bloom for them to enjoy. If there’s any reason to recommend this hike, it’s for the incredible display of those beauties.

Adam and I caught a ferry home just in time. We held hands and walked around the sundeck together. Mt. Rainier was fluorescent-best on Puget Sound. Zion, indeed.

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