Tag Archives: Driving

Huangshan – Road Trip!!

roadtripMike is feeling really good about driving, so he was up to driving a good distance from Suzhou.

The Yellow Mountains, called ‘Huangshan’ in Chinese, for a couple days and a day in Hangzhou became our plan for the holiday weekend of the April 28th through May 1st. Chinese have so many holidays. Two days off here, three there… it’s great! We left on Saturday to make sure we had plenty of daylight to get to our destination.

As always, there’s humor on the roadway. In the gallery, check out the photo of a truck driving down the freeway at 40mph+ with a broken front axle and a massive load of cargo. Mike laughed his head off for a long time over that. I also took photos of a wedding motorcade. This is how all wedding couples get around.

Once we were about one hour from our hotel, we took a scenic route on a new freeway that wasn’t even on Google Maps. One of the tourist guide books recommended an ancient, little city to visit called Shexian, actually called Huizhuo for hundreds of years until just recently they have been trying unsuccessfully to change its name. Sadly, the ancient parts are mostly destroyed to make way for big buildings. (And why they building the big buildings will remain a mystery as they all stay empty because no one will come to a town that has nothing to see.)

We did find a haunting pagoda in bad need of repair. The grounds surrounding it were terribly neglected too. Mike, Briana, and Zachary found a sneaky way (a no go zone) into the stairwell that led to the top of the pagoda. Zachary was freaked when they got back due to the lack of stairwell, narrow steps, his large feet, all the dead bats, bat dung and such. He shook for a while once they got back down. A day or two later, he said it was worth it. A local stayed with Zachary and was even willing to carry him down.

Off note, I repeat myself often, but my, these people are so caring and wonderful compared to most of people in the US. Daily we met new people always willing to help out, laugh with, etc. We will miss them. We arrived at our hotel while it was still daylight out. After checking in the hotel, we took off on foot to find a good place to eat and see the city. The town of Tangkou was were we spent at the base of the mountain range. Thank goodness the hotel did not live up to the way the town looked. Oh my… what utter filth! We got lucky. Our hotel was clean… tight for us five in one room, but very doable. We do love each other, so it works.

We did find a good place to eat based on a recommendation in one of the tourist books I have and a local who spoke a bit of English. The restaurant help could speak broken English too and was the only ones to help us figure out how to get up the mountain. And the food was grubbin’! So good we came back the following night for seconds.

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Beijing – Rickshaw Ride

Okay, I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of riding on one of these things. But it was totally cool. Well worth the money and I would do it again in a heartbeat. These guys took us through the Hutongs and told us about the history and who used to live in them. They even took us places we would have never ventured without them showing us. So I have to say, this a must do while in Beijing in the Hutong. Don’t miss out! Did a quick vid of part of Briana and my ride on the main street…

Here are some photos taken by us and the peddler of Briana and my rickshaw. Check out all the orbs.

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Beijing – Beihai Park

After walking through Jingshan Park, we headed over to Beihai Park which once used to be the winter palace for the emperors and was once the palace of the conquering mongals, the infamous G. Khan. From about anywhere in Beijing, you can see the White Pagoda. It was built and rebuilt after a major earthquake took it down. One more good earthquake and it would go again. I took a photo of the large crack that goes around it in the photos below.

We had the weirdest experience upon walking up the east entrance to this park; sounded like spaceships landing. Take a listen and see if you can figure it out…

Figured it out? Here are the photos.

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Suzhou – Driving

Mike received his driver’s license the other day. I video’d his driving in downtown Suzhou. Didn’t realize the sound was off until the end, so I used music to fill the silence. Make sure you don’t concentrate on the car in front. Look around on the sides and see all the people and bikes. Chinese are the most slow, passive aggressive drivers ever…

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Western Adventure, Day XXVII – Utah at Dixie National Park

We woke to an amazingly blue skied day. During the early morning hours, we found a place to camp in Dixie National Park. We are about 8500 feet above sea level and have found trees, we are on our own and a small stream nearby. Nathan is happy. We all are.

At our spot, we came across a bunch of hunters and dogs tracking a bear. The bear went right through our camp. We needed groceries, so Nathan and I headed into the city of Torrey to round up some food. Mike and the other kids made time to put bacon a a tree to lure the bear back. Later on, Mike and the boys went for a drive and found a small slot canyon off a dirt road. We tried to make it to Capitol Reef to take sunset photos. All we got were the entrance sign and it was too dark to do anything else. We plan on returning tomorrow.

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