31 May 2012
The Skies Clear For Team Youngcare China
From there is was directly onward to the nearly 1000 steps up the Stairway to Heaven. We huffed and puffed, snaking up a 65 degree incline over steps large and small as well as people large and small. The reward at the top was 150 kilometer visibility across 270 degrees of expansive mountain ranges that not even I had ever seen before. Today was, without question, the clearest sky I have EVER seen on the Great Wall. It was so clear, in fact, that you could not only see the entire Beijing skyline but even spot the whole in the CCTV "pants" building!
Thanks to our lightning pace it was only 10:30am when we stepped off the Mutianyu section and onto Jiakou, another but of more "wild wall." For the next hour and a half we bobbed around overgrown trees, near crawled along extremely narrow sections of wall, and inched along dirt pathways that looked as if they hadn't been traversed in years. It was, once more, a high-flying adventure of the most inspired kind!
The reward for our grit was another spectacular unobstructed view, this one 360 degrees, of picture-perfect panoramas that you can't even dream up they are so pristine. The sandwiches and cookies when down nice and then so did we - descending for the umpteenth time back to the valley floor.
Because this team is so wildly gung-ho, we decided to tackle tomorrow's trekking in the afternoon, ascending for the last time to the dizzying heights of the Great Wall. I could go on again about how beautiful and spectacular it is but you'd just get more insanely jealous. 43 group photos later we were headed back to the farmhouse for a well-deserved rest. After all, we did trek for 6.5 hours today!
As I write I can hear the group nattering on about the day. It is all punctuated by Sherrin's infectious laugh, Judy's occasional gasps, and Chris' never ending offer to grab us another round of beers. Such a Kevin move.
The thought that our trekking time is over hasn't quite sunk in yet. I think I'll let the shock of Beijing remind everyone tomorrow. For now, it's time to celebrate.