Linna and I agreed that this will be the last time we hike this tough 20 mile hike thru.
For my 59th birthday, my wife Linna worked with local Georgian guide Davit Berishvili to provide a well-balanced 10 day journey that included hiking, site-seeing, food/wine tasting and culture gathering. We invited our good friend Michael Curry to join us on this truly once in a life-time vacation packed excursion.
This will be our first vacation/journey that we have hired a professional guide for the duration of a trip and looking back at it now, I am so pleased that Linna organized it that way. There would have been a language barrier at many of the locations and restaurants we visited. Also, there is a unique way of driving in Georgia, similar to China….there are no set of road lines or rules. People will pass with on-coming traffic and at the same time deal with local cattle wondering on the road. But, we were so fortunate to have the best tour guide in Georgia…Gaga Chechelashvili. Not only was he a safe aggressive driver, but also a fun tour guide and a true gentleman. Gaga picked us up at the Tbilisi airport in his 4×4 right hand drive Mitsubishi Pajero. Not sure, but maybe 1 in 10 cars were right hand drive purchased from Japan because of their excellent condition and reliability.
Linna and I started in Munich and drove down to Austria and then over to Slovakia.
I think March is a wonderful month to visit Japan….perfect temperature for a big boy like myself. I flew to Narita and then onto Osaka where my good friend Moto Tanaka was waiting for me.
Nashville is a great city for music, restaurants and bar hopping, it has that feel of Biehl Street but a bit cleaner and safer. Not only is Nashville the Capital of Tennessee, but home to Country Music Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum, Grand Ole Opry House and the historic Ryman Auditorium. We also celebrated Linna’s 47th birthday in Nashville and attending a Fleetwood Mac concert.
Our good friend Jim Darmiento was celebrating his 50th birthday in Winthrop, Washington and asked a few friends to come along. He rented Hazel’s Overnight rental right across the street from Copper Glance restaurant in the heart of Winthrop. In fact our first night we had dinner and drinks at the Copper Glance. Due to a late night, we headed out snowshoeing Patterson Lake next day, followed with drinks and appetizers at the Sun Mountain Lodge.
The cold air and heavy snow made this sweet basic Pilchuck hike into a cold ass kicker. Washington received tons of snow this year so every hike this winter has seen heavy snow pack. The winter route up to Pilchuck is steep and deep in snow…..but still very worth it.
My wife Linna, niece Chloe Wei and I got a late start at the base of Mt. Baker ski to snowshoe up to Artist Point.
It was time for a calorie burn after Thanksgiving, so my wife Linna, niece Chloe Wei and my good friend Matt Kerby hiked up Mailbox Peak via the old trail two days after stuffing our face with roasted duck, lamb and cold Chinese sliced beef.
We ascended and descended the old trail (red)…4,000 feet up in 2.5 miles. I have descended the new trail (blue) a couple of times, but the 5 miles one way down seems to take forever. My knees are tender and some of the larger step-downs send agonizing jolts of pain on the 2.5 miles old trail, but I will bear the pain to forsake the extended 5 miles.
We stayed in the Wuyuan County for a couple of days, known as the most beautiful countryside in China. Located northeast of Jiangxi Province and near Mount Huangshan that we just visited a couple of days ago. We were ending our China trip that started in Shanghai a week ago. My wife Linna Wei put together the perfect itinerary for twelve days.The beautiful drying racks in the ancient village of Wuyuan.
We stayed in the Hongcun village before and after hiking Mount Huangshan. The 900 year old village is located in the historical region of southern Anhui Province near the southwest slope of Mount Huangshan.