Friday, April 14, 2017

Hiking on the Road to Shu

I discovered, on the YouTube, Hope Justman and her romance with the Road to Shu.  The episode was so enchanting that I called her last year to express interest in joining the tour she will lead in 2017.  Then Tom expressed interest in joining too.  Unfortunately the hikes would be a bit too difficult for Janice to join us.  So Tom and I started the journey together.  This is the first time ever that Tom and I traveled together without other siblings and spouses.  We were on the tour from March 13 to April 2. Tom and I then took a train to Qefu for a couple of days' visit.

Tom babysat me when I was very young.  As a teenager, he always wanted to hand me back to an adult so that he could go play basketball.
The four siblings took a picture together when I was five.  At that age, I looked at my two elder brothers as tall and scary guys.
Then I grew up and came to the United States.  The years in US has changed me, and Tom and I grew closer as years went by.  I still respect and admire him as my big brother, but I also felt more affectionate and more as a friend toward him now.  I am able to tease him, debate with him, and show my love to him.

And we enjoyed traveling together, even in the absence of other family members.

Our leader Hope is an intriguing and understanding kindred spirit.  She made the journey spontaneous and interesting.  Tom also taught her how to play Cheung Cards.
 Being interviewed by a reporter:

With a farmer friend:
Ordering dishes with Luping:
What did Mr. Chan say?
Opening the "beggar's chicken" for our picnic:

Sneaking on a photo oppotunity:
Inside a cave home:
Enjoying a foot message with Ginny and Steve in Cheng Shen (Dry village with dry's po yen ze)

 I enjoyed our fellow travelers too.

From left to right: Jim, Luping, Molly, Ginny, Barb, Larry, Hope, and Tyler.  Not the entire team as some wondered off to other places.

Molly and Tyler .  This is their first trip to China.
Ginny and Mary who have been friends before the trip.  Ginny's husband Phil unfortunately did not join much of the hikes due to his injured ankles. Mary's husband Steve loves to take pictures.
Steve found some nice objects on the trail to take pictures.
Phil joined us on a visit to Zhang Liang's Temple:

Jim used to be Barb's boss.  Barb and Larry are newly wed; 
Larry, Barbie and I did an extra hike together with Miss Li being our guide:
Miss Li provided me with another extra hike from Cypress Tree # 363 to Tree #1 (in PuAn). 
 A picture of me and Ms. Li taken by Hope:

Of course, the flagstones, cypress trees, and rape flowers were absolute highlights of the scenery. I was also constantly reminded by the stories and characters from the history: the three kingdoms, the Han, the Qin, the Tong.....


I wish that I could do more serious hiking in Jing Man Guan:  Perhaps there is a next time?!

What a trip!  Although the group also visited ChengDu and Xian (which I had been previously) in the beginning and at the end of our tour respectively, the two cities were no comparison to the places we visited in between.  This journey left me much to remember, especially the aspect of learning more about myself.

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