Wednesday, November 11, 2009

hardly hiking

so, growing up in the NW with parents that are teachers and traveling to different national parks with allison's dad and di, we've done our fair share of hiking in the summer.  we'd heard about hiking in the dakeng area (still not sure about the use of that word.  when i tell people where i teach, they say, "oh, dakeng" which i think means hills and trees) and we were excited to get up there.  i talked with one of the guys i play ultimate with about hiking, so we decided that allison, another frisbee friend, he, and i (sounds wrong grammatically in my head, but it is correct, i think) would head out for a morning hike and then nom nom down some glorious indian food.  from what i had read, hiking was more about going up and down hills instead of switchbacks.  speaking of switchbacks, if you ever get a chance to hike around zion national park, head to angels landing and check out the 21 switchback, 1500 ft ascending trail that ends with a .5 mile death crab walk (most people hike the last part, but not me) to a nice landing area with a great view of the canyon.  well, hiking in taiwan is the exact opposite.

the hike started out near a bunch of fruit stands about 20 minutes from our house and right near the beginning of the trail was a huuuge playground/military training looking thing (will take more pics next time).  and right away, we're climbing up steps made out of branches.  we ended up walking/climbing/tripping/sliding down these bad boy branches most of the time.  one of the negatives about having to hike like that is that you end up looking at your feet 90% of the time.  i guess it would be one thing if you grew up there and were used to it, but since it was our first time, we kept wanting to look around us.  it was pretty smoggy up there, so the views weren't that great, but it was in the middle of the forest, so we were able to see lots of nice views, crazy lil caterpillars, and be in the shade.

we hiked trail 1 to the top and had a seat at the little noodle stand up there and had a super supau (which up until now, i thought was supau supau) that was warm because they don't believe in cold drinks here.  i probably lost about 7 lbs because of how much i was sweating.  as bjorn put it, "my nose is like a ski jump for sweat."  hung out there for a few minutes then headed down.  there are a few points on the hike that the trail is actually built out over the cliff just a bit, which is a little crazy because you can see down the steep face of the mountain.  at some points, i swear, your going down or up at a 75 degree angle.  we'll do a better job taking pictures next time, but for now, i took a few with my phone that are at the bottom of this post.  we ended up finishing around noon and as we were getting to our car, an older lady came up to us and our friends talked to her and she said she needed a ride down to the bottom of the hill.  i said yes (obviously) and she climbed into the backseat with allison and bjorn.  then we went to the glorious glorious indian food place, went home, showered, took a two hour nap, and then ended up going out for a few drinks with our hiker friends later that night.  fun times.
better pics next time!

heading down the steep part.  then right back up once you got to the bottom of the dip.

they keep it looking pretty nice.

one of the steeper parts.

ropes came in handy.

the view, 90% of the time.

allison's new best friend. (and no, i wasn't sneaky when i took that picture.  just turned around and said "smile!")


  1. omg how much do you love super supau! the green or white kind?

  2. that looks pretty challenging, climbing on those log ladders. do you know the elevation you made it up to?

    I tried the super supau a few years back ... but, well ... it wasn't for me. (yuck!) Try tossing a handful of high mountain oolong leaves into a water bottle and sipping off that.

    it's always good to bank some good "hitchiker karma" 'cause you never know when you'll need it.

  3. megan - i'm actually more of a sweat man myself. allison is the supau-y girl and that is the only drink they have.

    brett - will give the tea a go. not sure about the elevation, but it wasn't too bad. it just seems a lot worse when you have to climb those things. will look into it though.

  4. Looking good! See you in a few! XOXO

  5. awesome looking, and sounding. i really want to get in on some of that log hiking. does look challenging though, but different. and that makes for a great experience usually. did you save some of your sweat? were there caterpillars skiing off your nose? i bet so.