We woke up early, had breakfast, and checked out by 8:30. We checked the luggage we weren’t carrying up the mountain. We’re going to be doing some hiking, so we only are bringing enough supplies for one night at the resort on top of the mountain.
We drove for about an hour to the transfer station, where we were all given rain ponchos. I was happy that they also provided us with poncho pants, because I don’t actually have any rain pants here. I have a jacket and a backpack cover, but no pants. I could have really used them last night. After stopping at the transfer shop, we all went over to the bus loading station. If you choose not to walk up the mountain, you take one of the company’s buses. They operate a fleet of 39-person tour buses who are in captive service running between the transfer station and the bottom of the cableway. It’s a good thing, too, because you’re guaranteed to go through masses of clouds before reaching the top of the mountain, because Yellow Mountain is very famous for its seas of clouds, amongst other things. As we drove up, I was very glad that this run is all these drivers do all the time, because at some points I could barely make out the road ahead.
Once on top our group re-collected, and our guide, Ella, took us up to a place called Begin to Believe. It was quite breathtaking, especially since we could see everything because we had made it above the mist. It was stunning, and I got several pictures, and Rachel and I even had a Titanic moment on top of one of the rocks. I had another feeling of being in a huge Chinese garden.
After getting settled, we had lunch at the hotel, and then headed out up the mountain to Bright Summit, the second-highest peak. I soon became glad that we hadn’t hiked up the mountain the whole way, because while in the US most of our mountain trails are dirt and use the concept of the switchback to keep the trail from being too steep, in China they still adhere to their tradition of stone-paved trails and staircases that shoot you straight up the sides of ridges. But we made good time, and I made it panting to the top of Bright Summit.
When I crested the top of Bright Summit, I had a similar experience, I was already in the wind, so I could go right to appreciating the view. It’s at an elevation of 1,860m, which is about 6,102 feet. The view is amazing. The white tops of the grey-bottomed rain clouds spread out far below, and above you can see blue sky from horizon to horizon, which we have only rarely seen since arriving in January. the landscape is spread around below you, except for the highest peak off to the south. Bright Summit is high enough to put you above many of the clouds, but not so high that it doesn’t get covered by them regularly. The mist swirls around everything, hiding and revealing different landscapes constantly. It is another giant garden experience, where the work of changing the perspective is all done by the clouds. The landscapes look exactly like the ancient Chinese paintings of them. After spending the better part of an hour at the summit, we all decided to head back down. We all made it back in good time, and I managed to finish the works cited page for my essay and email it from the hotel lobby, The only part of the hotel with Wi-Fi. But the lack of Internet was not a problem, as there was plenty else to do. We all had fun there. After dinner (which was quite good after the day’s adventures), we headed back to our rooms. Later that evening, Lauren, Lydia, Vidy, Gonzy and I finished out our twelfth week in China by watching Frozen before going to bed.