Hiking Up a Blue Streak: April 8, 2006

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Hiking Up a Blue Streak: April 8, 2006

Postby Mucha Man » 05 Apr 2006, 20:29

Okay, we shall return to the river that will make my fortune. Yes, the one near Shifen with the long blue streak of calcedony.

The hike is up to a weather station along a stepped path. Still the forest we go through at first is very primitive looking and I once saw a 3 metre beauty snake along it. At the beginning of the trail there is an abandoned tunnel and later an abandoned mine shaft. We can enter both.

The trail takes us up to an exposed ridge in 40-60 minutes. Then the path takes its sweet time to reach the weather station. This section is amazingly scenic on a clear day. 360 degrees perfect. When we went up last May there were swarms of dragonflies about (which was a good thing).

We'll picnic at the station and then return.

Then those who want to can hike down to the river to see the blue calcedony. I also may hike out to some swimming holes I have been saying I will test for months.

If we have cars this would be better as the swimming holes are right off the side of the road.

Duration: the main hike will probably take 4 hours with breaks to explore, lunch, etc. You'd have to be miserably out of shape not to be able to do this one.

Add an hour to go see the stone, and another two if you want to visit the swimming holes with me (if no car).

If it is an overcast day we won't go to this place. It needs a clear afternoon to show it in its best light. As an alternative we could visit the waterfall in Maokong. Parts of this hike are so quiet and remote and pristine you won't believe Taipei is just on the other side of the hill.
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Postby Mucha Man » 05 Apr 2006, 21:18

Some pics of the hike here last year:

Image

The ridge we walked up to the weather station:

Image

The infamous mine tunnel:

Image

The gateway to the mines of Moria:

Image

The swimming hole I want to check out:

Image

Incredibly, there are two. This is the lower one complete with Tarzan swing:

Image
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Postby AWOL » 05 Apr 2006, 21:41

how busy is this place on a saturday?

what time will you depart?

I have a car... and a bike... waiting :)
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Postby Mucha Man » 05 Apr 2006, 21:52

Not busy at all. There are sometimes people at the weather station as you can drive up to that, but I've only ever seen a few people on the trail itself. The first part is uphill on stairs so it puts off most Taiwanese. Also, the trailhead is hidden behind the coal museum, which is also 1km back from Shifen Station so not that many people come here. Unless things have really changed in the last year which I doubt.

How many can you fit in your car?

Oh, the weather right now is not promising. Thundershowers for Saturday. Obviously, we can't do an exposed ridge walk if there is a chance of thundershowers.

Departure time: 9 if no cars. 10 or so if cars.

So please people pipe in.
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Postby AWOL » 05 Apr 2006, 22:12

The earlier the better for me.

My car fits 5 in total. 4 would be most comfortable.
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Postby seeker4 » 05 Apr 2006, 22:18

I'm conditionally in. If the weather is nearly perfect -- hot, sunny, "makes you think of June" day. Otherwise, I'll wait for it to come around again when I can surely swim. In any case, likely car-less.
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Postby Mucha Man » 05 Apr 2006, 22:29

You actually don't want it to be TOO hot on this hike as you are exposed for much of the time. Definitely not a hot summer's day hike.
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Postby scomargo » 06 Apr 2006, 09:16

Finally, there's some proof that my wife actually went on a hike. That was BC: before children. Unfortunately, I need to stay home at help watch the kids this weekend since my MIL will be out. I'll try to join a hike sometime soon, though. Hope the weather is fantastic.
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Postby AWOL » 06 Apr 2006, 10:40

due to unforseen circumstances I am out
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Postby Omniloquacious » 06 Apr 2006, 10:58

I'm keen to join, if I possibly can (but I won't know for sure one way or the other until a bit later).

The hills are looking especially lovely now, with the fresh spring green bursting out everywhere. As the temperatures are at their most comfortable and the air full of heady spring scents, this is definitely the best month of the year for hiking, and it's a shame to miss any good opportunity for doing so.

Also, I noticed this morning that a couple of youtong (tung oil) trees on the hill across from my flat are in full bloom. I wonder if there are many youtong trees in the hills around the hiking trail? I expect there must be at least some, which will add much to the beauty of the scenery.
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