Another weekend backpacking in Dolly Sods – Blackbird Knob and Red Creek Gorge

Red Creek next to camp - 10-10-2020

Total Distance: 9 miles (plus wandering)

Dolly Sods Trail Map

Route Map

Elevation Gain: ~1,500 feet

It was time for a long overdue hike into the woods. 2020 has been a strange year to say the least. It seemed like something came up every time I tried to make plans for a long-term trip. And at this point “long-term” is anything longer than a weekend.

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Arashiyama – The Ryokan Experience and Nature

View from the Arashiyama Bridge - 10-23-2019

After a few days in Osaka and Kyoto, we moved outside of the big city to Arashiyama; located on the outskirts of Kyoto. This is more of my kind of town since I’m not a big-city kind of guy. However, the big cities in Japan are remarkably clean, safe, and quiet compared to the rest of the world. In Japan, I didn’t feel as compelled to “escape the city” as I usually do in big cities.

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Osaka and Kyoto – cities and temples

It turns out we picked a few temples for the itinerary. I didn’t know what to see in Japan. So when we decided to travel to Japan, my wife did most of the planning. Looking at the map, there are too many temples to see them all, but I suppose we made it to the major temples. Additionally, we saw most of the major attractions and popular street markets in two major cities.

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Hong Kong – outside the big city at Big Buddha and Tai O

With one free day in Hong Kong, there is only so much you can do. There are several options for popular tourist attractions. Despite Hong Kong being a rather small area, there is still a lot of ground to cover. Since we were stuck in a city during our previous day in Macau, we opted for some “non-city” attractions while in Hong Kong. That sounds unlikely if you have ever seen a picture of the skyline. However Hong Kong has an amazing countryside outside of the urban areas.

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An abbreviated tour of Macau (without gambling)

Steps to St. Paul's - Macau- 10-15-2019

A few days after arriving in Guangzhou for the start of our trip, we were headed to Macau, a Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China. Macau is known for it’s casinos and gambling industry. We weren’t there to gamble, just to check it out for the day (half of a day really) before taking a ferry to Hong Kong.

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