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Archive for the ‘Mountain’ Category

Morning sun is like a love letter in the sky; oh how lovely and poetic!

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It was a foggy day and I looked forward to enjoy a cool and misty stroll up the mountain.

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The sunset above the cloud was glowing with delight;

and the thick blanket of fog that covered the city skylines looked like a fairyland.

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Renewed Strength

The morning sun is shining, the fresh snow is falling, and the mountains are calling…

for me to come and enjoy their snowy splendid.

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As I am huffing and puffing up the snow trail, I grow exhausted and have to stop every so often to rest, and to contemplate whether to go higher or to turn back down.

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After a sip of drink and some tasty snack, I look around and in awe once again by the magnificent white, my strength is renewed and I am able to march upward.

As I am climbing, suddenly, the well-known verses from Isaiah 40 come to mind:

He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:29-31)

Oftentimes, when I think of these verses, I think I would only experience this renewal when I grow older.

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But today while grinding up the slope, I suddenly have this spiritual epiphany and could totally relate to the rich meaning of these Isaiah verses.

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Just like how I need rest and food to renew my energy hiking up mountains,
I also need to rest and wait on the Lord to nurture me and renewed my strength when I am weary, so I can soar again and again.

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Upon the water

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I usually go paddling at least once a year; This year I had the opportunity to go paddling twice: one under the city skylines of Vancouver, and another in the serene slough at Mapleridge, BC.

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It was fun to paddle in the hub of the city and to experience a new perspective of the panoramic view of the city skylines, instead of the usual view by the roadside.

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The waterway was busy and bustling — water taxis picking up and dropping off passengers, dragon boats, canoes and kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and yachts — all sharing the same busy waterway.

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As much as I was mesmerized by the various architectural buildings, it was kind of nerve wrecking to be in the midst of these water transport; thus one needs to to keep balance and to avoid being tipped over by the waves created by the boating traffic.

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Upon the slough in Maple Ridge, I experienced a different kind of scenery — peaceful and picturesque, especially on this Autumn weather with its gentle sunlight and cool wind.

I lingered and immersed myself in the serene surrounding along the smooth-flowing slough; and delighted to spot the white majestic Mount Baker ahead.

Suddenly, before I could collect my thoughts, I was seated waist-deep in the water! What’d happened??

Then the sound of giggles snapped me back to reality, my friend from behind laughed uncontrollably as she witnessed me being unceremoniously dumped into the water while the kayak headed to the water’s edge.

As we later figured out, a log beneath the water had tipped the kayak. Thank goodness it was low tide, hence the slough was shallow.

After several attempts and coaching from my friend, I managed to get back into the boat and glided into the sunset, so care free but watchful.

Despite the mishap, I enjoyed being in the open air upon the water and having my soul refreshed.

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Artist Point

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Autumn vista at Artist Point by Mt. Baker brings true ecstasy.

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As I walk along the picturesque path surrounded with fabulous Fall foliage, I am beyond words.

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Nature invites me to pause and reflect …

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Who paints the evergreen trees and decorates the alpine meadow ablazed with color?

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Who creates the pristine lake and carves out the majestic snow-capped peaks?

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Who scatters the white fluffy clouds that float in the sky?

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Who illuminates the mountain tops with stunning alpenglow?

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And WHO is this Autumn Artist splashing all those splendid artworks,

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so worthy of our praise?

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I studied about the history of the magnificent Great Wall of China during my elementary school year, but never dreamed that one day I would step onto this ancient path. What a surreal experience for me to finally walk on this wonder of the world!

The most visited Wall is the popular Badaling Great Wall. It is an hour away from the city, so it easily attracts lots of locals and tourists.

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Badaling Wall is divided into two sections from the entrance: the northern side and the eastern side. The northern side is always congested with people due to access of cable cars and trolleys from the bottom of the hill to the steepest top. We opted for the eastern side which is the road less traveled.

People told us that the gorgeous time to visit is around mid-Oct where the vast surrounding ridges is decorated in vibrant red.

The time we went, most of the leaves were withered and the landscape were left with naked and bare bushes; nonetheless, it has its own charm of beauty.

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The day was filled with delightfully warm sunlight with gentle crisp wind under a clear blue sky, which is rare in this cold autumn season.

The pavement is easy to walk on with gentle winding slopes here and there, and we hiked to the very end where the trail is blocked off even though the wall continues to stretch for miles and miles.

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As I strolled along the wall, I couldn’t help but appreciate the hard labor the workers of long ago put into building this architectural masterpiece originally designed for military defense.

Along the way, we encountered more than a hundred energetic and fun-loving elementary students chasing each other and having their first experience on the wall as well.

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They appeared to be on a field trip with an assignment to ask passers-by about their experience on the Great Wall. The sights and sounds of the giggling children made this leisure walk an enjoyable one.

After we arrived back at the entrance, we decided to explore the northern side; Indeed, there were a lot of people, young and old, buzzing with excitement.

After much searching, we finally spot the monument that everyone longs to take a picture with to prove that they indeed have reached the Great Wall!

The monument is a stone engraved with this famous Chinese writing: “If you have never been to the Great Wall, you are no hero”.

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The idiom basically means that courageous people can overcome adversity… the background of this saying is that a long time ago, it was impossible to access to the Great Wall, so whoever tackled this difficult task and arrived was a true hero/heroine.

After we had accomplished our mission to climb the Great Wall and proved to be “heroes”, we are ready for a feast!

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For our late afternoon snack, we enjoyed mouth-watering food on skewers.


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A Peking duck delicacy, which one should not miss when coming to Beijing, was our evening meal.

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For a midnight snack, we went to explore this famous street that never sleeps, called Gui Jie. There we tried spicy Szechuan seafood which included crayfish (aka mini-lobsters), escargot, crab and frog dishes to our heart’s content. The food was numblingly spicy and deliciously satisfactory.



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Looking up, I imagined the gentle playful white clouds twirling like ballerinas in the pretty blue sky!

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While marveling at the sight, I remembered a friend who studied abroad told me that the place where she lived was so polluted that there was rarely a day where she could see a clear blue sky.

At first, I couldn’t comprehend how that could be! But recently I experienced the muggy, scorching weather myself.

Due to the severe forest fires in the neighboring cities, the weather has been so hazy and smoky that it has been days since we last saw a clear blue sky. Now, I finally understand what she means.

This experience has helped me to appreciate a lovely blue sky, which I have so often taken for granted.

Taking a moment to remember the spectacular blue skies I encountered in the past month.

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Peeping through the tall grasses and looking into the blue sky is most delightful.

I love the sky!

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