Shi Du: Lonely Mountain [Amusement?] Park

Lonely Mountain Park is marketed a bit like an amusement park, but it has makings of a national park.  All of the main attractions are provided courtesy of mother nature.  Only a few accessory items are man-made, and some (i.e. a mechanical bull) definitely seem out of place.  While the steel rope bridge and short zip line do make your heart beat a bit faster, the thrill factor stops well short of say, a Six Flags or a Valley Fair.

The wobbly steel rope bridge definitely gets exciting when lots of people travel it in both directions in and out of the park.

The wobbly steel rope bridge definitely gets exciting when lots of people travel it in both directions in and out of the park.

Chinese construction standards, don't fail me now!

Chinese construction standards, don't fail me now!

Regardless of how one classifies the park, our group had plenty of fun there, and we definitely enjoyed the scenery.  The best activity was definitely hiking, and we certainly did a lot of it.  Here are some pictures from our Saturday trek. 

We walked along a river bed, which in the spring is full of water.

We walked along a river bed, which is full of water in the spring.

We passed a couple different waterfalls on the way up the mountain.

We passed a couple waterfalls on the way up the mountain.

What normally is an amazing panoramic view of mountain tops was covered by clouds when we visited.  It was still a great view.

What normally is an amazing panoramic view of mountain tops was covered by clouds when we visited. It was still a great view from halfway up the mountain.

Several landmarks offered some spectacular opportunities for group pictures, and we readily took advantage of them.  Here are two of my favorite from the entire trip.

Can't resist taking a group picture in front of a waterfall.

You really can't resist taking a group picture in front of a waterfall...

...Or on a steep and narrow rock staircase.

...Or on a steep and narrow rock staircase.

One of everyone’s favorite spots of the day was called the “The Thin Crack in the Sky.”  The second group picture just above was taken on the path up to this place.  Basically, water has eroded a deep crack in the mountain, just big enough to walk through.  Once inside, you can look up and see the long crack of light above you.  It really is beautiful, though I’m sure you can imagine the joke possibilities.

From deep inside the crack.

From deep inside the crack.

The light rays peeking in from above were beautiful.

The light rays peeking in from above were beautiful.

Back at the bottom of the mountain, the group regrouped and relaxed a bit.  Tian and I grabbed a corn-on-the-cob snack.  For me it didn’t come close to MN sweet corn.  In fact, it was so dry and so burnt that I felt a better name for it would have been “Carbon-on-the-cob.”  But we finished it anyway.  Our group also threw away (literally) about 10 yuan in coins trying to hit a target in the wishing well.  When we did, a gold budda popped out and sprayed water. 

Tian and I grabbed some "Carbon-on-the-Cob" at the bottom of the mountain.  Not very tasty in my opinion.  However, Tian was satisfied.

Tian and I grabbed some "Carbon-on-the-Cob" at the bottom of the mountain. Not very tasty in my opinion. But Tian was satisfied.

Our group also threw away coins into a wishing well.  The goal was to hit a target and make a gold budda pop out and shoot water in the air.

A wishing well was another humble man-made attraction at Lonely Mountain. But it did inspire our group to pitch a lot of coins in an attempt to make a gold budda pop out and shoot water in the air.

Just chillin...

Just chillin...

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