Hiking With (100,000) Friends

All together now

Aaaah: the fall foliage hike. Today we and our friends shared this pleasure with a few (million) other people. This is Fragrant Hill, or Xiangshan.

Sharing the journey

It’s half an hour from our apt. Climbing Incense Burner Peak was a real Chinese mountain experience: Stairs, a sea of fellow hikers, stops at man-made features en route (pavillions, pagodas, gardens built 800 years ago). Nearby is a closed military shelter for national leaders in an emergency, attached (they say) by secret tunnel to Tiananmen Sq.
Another difference from hiking at home is how people hang blessing ribbons on trees–for longevity, a happy marriage, prosperity. The mountain isn’t quite 2000 feet in elevation. Still, tiring. Amazing: he found a solitary rock above Glass Pond.

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