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Hua Shan

On Tynan

It started about five years ago. On the internet I saw a picture of a really janky looking pathway that was nothing more than some two by fours bolted high into the side of a mountain. I immediately wanted to go do it. I did some searches, but came up empty handed. The name and location of the mountain was a mystery.

A couple years later I saw another picture of the mountain, and this time it had a name. Hua Shan. I looked it up, and it was in the middle of China, two hours east of Xi'an.

When I booked a three week trip to China a few months back, I didn't have any good reason or any definite plans except for one-- get to Hua Shan and climb it.

So last Friday my friend Carl, who I'm staying with here, and I took a fourteen hour overnight train ride to Xi'an. Immediately after arriving, we wandered around until we found a bus going to Hua Shan. A two hour ride later, we walked up a hill to the ticket gate. We thought it would be free, and hadn't brought much money, so we walked back down the hill, found a bank, and came back to the ticket gate. From there we began our ascent.

Post #21 - What I've been up to lately...

On Notes Too Frank

Dear Reader,

The last time I wrote seems like a long time ago, even though it was only two days (I think?). It seems like it's been much longer, and I think part of that goes to the fact that I've been busy having fun all week. Really though, the past two days have been filled with a lot of adventure, deep conversation, and creative power. I guess I'll spell them out to you.

I left Calvin's place in Hattiesburg early in the morning to meet my good friend, Kori, 30 miles west in Columbia, MS. I stuffed my bike into the trunk of her car, and we were off to Red Bluff – a beautiful canyon-looking sinkhole made by the collapsing clay soil between Highway 587 and the Pearl River. It took us about an hour to actually find the place, but once we got there I knew that it was worth the wait. It's hard to believe that a place like Red Bluff could exist in Mississippi.

Hours spent in the hot sun passed by without a blink as we trekked the trails and played in the creek. We made pottery with the vibrantly colored clay abundant along the creek. I never knew the possibilities in colors of clay; purple, deep red, yellow, greenish blue, and white all in this small unknown bluff, which we dubbed “Heaven on Earth”. Barefoot, we followed the creek all the way down to were it meets the Pearl River. At that moment, with my feet six inches into the soil where the creek current yielded to the greater current of a larger stream and the crackly clay on my face drying as I stared into the Sun (I know I'm going to need glasses), I never felt more unified with nature.

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