Hiking Little Si Trail, North Bend, Washington

Little Si: The Rodney Dangerfield of North Bend Area Hikes

Little Si gets overshadowed by its big brother, the Mount Si Trail (which doesn’t even have the basic decency to add “Big” to its name). The Rodney Dangerfield of North Bend area hikes, Little Si gets no respect.

The public’s low estimation is unwarranted. Like you and the new person your partner left you for, neither the Little Si or Mount Si trails are better or worse than the other–they’re just different.

Little Si is shorter than the Mount Si trail, stretching a total 3.7 miles versus Mount Si’s 7.5. It’s also less steep, though there is a pretty good shot up at the beginning and an even better one at the end–meaning those who are still working themselves back into shape should be prepared.

view from atop Little Trail
This is the view from the top of the Little Si Trail.

Little Si is Good for Getting into Hiking Shape–With One Side Note

I agree with those who say that Little Si is a great trail to use for getting into hiking shape, but I would add that that doesn’t mean that the trail is “easy.” The two steep climbs at the beginning and the end, particularly, can be rough on newbies or the out-of-shapers (especially if it’s a hot day), so be prepared.

I just hiked Little Si on April 16, 2021. The temperature was about 70, I’d say, and many people were hurting. This was also coming off of the COVID-19 lockdown, of course, so many of those people were probably quite out of shape.

Still, I encourage everyone to do this trail for getting into shape, but I also add that you shouldn’t take it too lightly. There are a couple difficult climbs, and quite a bit of the trail is exposed to the sun.

What’s Waiting at the Top of Little Si?

The rocky top of Little Si offers beautiful views of North Bend and the surrounding countryside. You can stop at various places along the top. There is no one final, “official” destination.

Back-end view from Little Si trail
Continuing over the rocky top of Little Si, you can find more views such as this one.

While I can’t say that the Little Si views match those of Mount Si, I will say that they definitely are stunning in their own right. There’s also some fun, simple rock scrambling to be had up at the top.

Little Si is an excellent trail, whether you’re using it to get into shape or as an adventure in its own right. I also think it’s an excellent trail for those who are just starting to explore the trails of western Washington.

If you’re thinking about trying out a new identity as an “outdoors type,” then I do believe Little Si is a great choice. My number one suggestion would be the Licorice Fern Trail, but that story has to be writ in the Northwest Nomad achives.

It’s coming, though…it’s coming.

Happy nomadding, friends!

Let’s Chill, Baby: Northwest Nomad Visits the Grit City Wellness Center’s Cryotherapy Chamber

I had three goals in trying out the cryotherapy chamber at Grit City Wellness Center:

  1. Try something new.
  2. Manage my inflammation (particularly in my feet).
  3. Acquire Iceman-like superheroes (or, in lieu of that, Mr. Freeze-like superpowers).

In the third goal I was terribly disappointed. In the first two, I was satisfied to the deepest level imaginable.

Cryotherapy chamber in Grit City Wellness, Tacoma, Washington.
The cryochamber at Grit City Wellness in Tacoma, Washington.

What It’s Like Inside the Cryochamber

Why, it’s quite….cool (yep, I did it).

Seriously (no, SERIOUSLY), it’s a space about the size of two hall closets with mellow blue light and cold air. There are two chambers, one at the entry (less cold) and one deeper inside the chamber (much colder). Two swinging metal doors separate the chambers.

There’s a digital clock on the wall that you control. You stand inside the initial chamber to acclimate a bit before stepping into the colder part of the chamber for up to four minutes.

I assume everyone’s body reacts differently, so I can only speak for myself, but I found the coldest chamber to be pretty enjoyable until the last thirty seconds of my four-minute experience. At that point, it wasn’t terrible or anything close to terrible, but my back did start to feel a bit like I was being freezer-burned.

What It’s Like Stepping Out of the Chamber

About a minute or so after stepping out of the chamber, as I quickly warmed back up, I felt a sudden rush of exhilaration. I’d go so far as to say that I felt downright (upright?) high.

Interestingly, about twenty minutes after the experience, I felt extremely relaxed and pleasantly tired. I could have napped in the car, I'm pretty sure, and that's pretty significant. I've always had trouble sleeping and never been able to nap. My mind doesn't allow it.

What’s even better is that my feet, which normally feel slightly inflamed basically constantly (no medical diagnosis has yet clarified this), felt fantastic. It was the best my feet have felt in years.

Should You Try the Grit City Wellness Center Cryochamber?

Well, I don’t know you so I can’t say for sure.

What I can say for sure is that I certainly intend to go back and to make the cryochamber a regular part of my personal health routine. 

I’ve been doing Wim Hoff style cold exposure for a couple years, and I found the chamber to be more intense/effective while being less physically uncomfortable. This is hard to explain as what I just said seems like a contradiction, but all I can say is that I trust that if you do try the chamber, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

My body felt relaxed, rejuvenated, and chill (meaning my foot inflammation was reduced significantly). It was also just fun and a great way to shock mind and body out of dread, dreary routine.

So, basically, yes I absolutely recommend the Grit City Wellness Center’s cryochamber to anybody who’s interested. Read the medical waiver and all that first, of course, but if you’re good to go there, then yes I would highly recommend the experience.

I wasn’t quite as happy with the chromotherapy session (by no means bad but just not as effective for me) I did there, but that’s for another post.

Happy nomadding, friends. Keep…chillin’ (I refuse to stop using the corny “chill” wordplay until it’s totally exhausted…which it was at first use, but here I am still at it).

Good Morning y’all from Butler Cove, Olympia, Washington

Two days ago a rainbow, and today a fantastic sunrise at Butler Cove.

What have I done to be so blessed, oh Lord?

Good morning, Nomaders!

I just want to share a happy hello and reminder that spring is coming…and NOTHING can stop it! NOTHING!!

It’s been a rough slog of a year (and three months) for many of us, but this beautiful world keeps turning around, and with each rotation it dredges up fantastic things to titillate our souls.

Keep being champions, my friends. Keep smiling no matter what they throw at ya. Most of all, keep nomadding.

Sun rising over the Puget Sound at Butler Cove.
The sun rises over the Sound at Butler Cove.
Silhouetted fir branches against orange sky.
Brilliant orange sky of Butler Cove sunrise.
Brilliant yellow sky with silhouetted fir branches.
Another sunrise shot, Butler Cove, Washington.

I Got near the End of the Rainbow at Butler Cove, Washington (and Survived to Tell About it)

End of the Rainbow, Butler Cove, Washington

Yesterday I was blessed to open my door and find myself staring at a rainbow not too far from my home. I didn’t even have to do any nomadding for this beautiful spectacle, my friends. This time, the beautiful spectacle came to me.

It was a dramatic and potentially dangerous situation. I feared armies of leprechauns may swarm me at any moment.

Luckily, thankfully, no such terrors occurred. There was only the natural beauty and the silence…and the clicking of my camera.

I’m still learning the art of the photograph, but I’m hoping the natural splendor of this sight is enough to overcome my deficiencies.

Enjoy, and happy nomadding, my friends.

Rainbow at Butler Cove, Washington
Rainbow at Butler Cove, Washington

Exploring the mighty Pacific Northwest