Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ta-ken Trail Mix

A breakfast vendor in Tanzi.

Saturday morning found myself and Jim Boyden of Sponge Bear gallivanting off to Ta-ken for another hike on the wonderful trails that criss-cross the area (click on any picture to be taken directly to it).

We decided to go up trail two. I didn't see any warnings directed at pudgy balding bloggers....

Like most of the Ta-ken trailheads, on the weekends the area is crowded with vendors.

Selling breakfast....

...like radish cakes...

...and shoes, in case you forgot to bring some.

Fruit vendors are a must.

The trail starts up steeply, rising from about 350m to over 850m, according to the sign at the top.

After a short level area, we started going up.

These absolutely regular stairs were made of concrete. Humping those sacks up there must have been a delight. Climbing them certainly was.

Jim strikes a pose.

The trail was steps and ladders most of the way, and packed. We often had to wait for people to descend before going up. After so many years here, I find the presence of people reassuring, though crowds are obviously not for everyone.

Don't get close!

Deja vu all over again....so there I was, facing another vertical trail in the company of someone more than a foot taller than me.

There would have been some great views toward the town of Chungshingling, but the haze was pretty bad.

"No, Mike, that's not vertical. That's just an optical illusion caused by the darkness and perspective."

At the top, there's always a vendor.

We took the leisurely and elegant trail to be relaxed and refined.

Coming back we took trail 1, which was sealed with yellow tape and marked dangerous. This was an invitation, right?

In many places the ropes had been pulled out of the ground and stairs were missing.

As we descended, we reached a point where the trail simply disappeared. Intrepid hikers, of which there were many on the way up, had cut a new trail along the area where the slope had slid into the valley below.

As we came around the bend, I took this composite of six pictures trying to capture the massive washout.

This vendor displayed the largest pomelos I have ever seen.

What? You didn't think I'd let you get away without a spider, did you?

Overall, trails 1-5 appear to be far more difficult than 6-8 (can't say anything about 9). But the views are excellent, and the climb is stimulating. They make a great weekend outing.

1 comment:

Todd said...

That's a fun trail, your pictures came out great!