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Hiking photos - Ming Dynasty Village Overnight, 2012/06/09

On the first day of the Ming Dynasty Village excursion, the group did a short loop hike in the hills and canyons near the village. This hike started with a steep uphill section which provided good views of the town of Cuandixia before leveling off on a section of road that led to an abandoned village. In this village, one can still see slogans in reference to Chairman Mao on some of the homes. Occasionally one sees large flocks of goats grazing in the area. The trail then left the village and descended into the bottom of a canyon before looping around back to the village.

The village of Cuandixia still has homes that are hundreds of years old and is very rich in traditional auspicious symbolism which was designed to bring the village good luck. The group spent a night at a guest house there and enjoyed a small bonfire after dinner before getting to bed early in preparation for the next day's long hike.

The second day's hike started out on a flat trail at the bottom of a valley that leads away from Cuandixia. After a while, it starts climbing up a set of switchbacks through a forest and eventually tops out on the summit of a hill. From there, the trail follows the ridge tops above a series of valleys with high hills in the background, and provides beautiful views of the surrounding scenery as well as forest flowers and butterflies along the trail. After following ridges for several hours and crossing a section of the Great Wall, the trail descends into a scenic canyon with high walls and unusual rock formations before eventually finishing at its opposite end.

Sunrise, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

Clouds above the hills that surround Cuandixia Village.

rainbow, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

A double rainbow arches over the hills above Cuandixia.

a small bonfire, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The group enjoys a small bonfire in the evening after dinner on the first day.

a very relaxed atmosphere, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The cozy surroundings at the guesthouse and the evening fire made for a very relaxed atmosphere.

a high ridge, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The group walks along a high ridge on the second day's hike.

great views, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

There were great views of the surrounding hills and valleys from up on the ridge.

A hiker, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

A hiker pauses to enjoy the scenery.

butterflies, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

Beautiful butterflies on the trail.

The valleys, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The hills at the head of Dragon Gate Gorge.

The trail, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The trail descends into the valley seen below.

large herds of goats, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

Some of the locals raise large herds of goats in the area.

, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, June09, 2012

The floor of the canyon at the last part of the hike was shady, cool, and refreshing.

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