In the next few months, my wife and I will be conditioning ourselves for a trip to Peru and Bolivia later in the year. High-altitude hiking in the Andes will be punishing enough without even taking into consideration demand on legs, knees and lungs. Our first real hike of the year was yesterday, the popular Little Si Trail that starts in North Bend. (The mountain is called Little Si because it stands next to the bigger Mount Si.) The trail gains a bit over 1,100ft over its 2.2-mile length, so there wasn’t enormous pulmonary challenge, but our quad muscles and knees took a lot of punishment. Still, we had a wonderful time outside and enjoyed the scenery along the way, including beautiful forests and view of Mount Si and the Snoqualmie valley from the trail summit. We also noticed the season’s first wildflowers, which I could count on one hand. The flowers pictured above belong to the red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum).