04. 20,000 Steps Up Mount Qingcheng

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A group of Shawn’s co-workers invited the new team to an overnight stay at Mt. Qingcheng (translates to Green City), just two hours outside of Chengdu. The mountain range has 36 peaks and is one of the most important places of Taoism in China. Friday night, the hotel cooked the group a large dinner consisting of many mystery meats, whole fish, rice and potatoes. I stuck to the rice and potatoes. After dinner, when the drinks were flowing, we all played the English and Chinese versions of Heads Up and a few games of dice. Once the majority of the group started to trickle into their rooms to rest up for the hike the next day, our team stayed behind to sing a few karaoke classic such as Spice Girls, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Disney’s Aladdin.

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We missed the larger group the next morning and our party of eight had to rely on vague directions and memory. So, of course our hike started in the wrong direction. We didn’t realize we were going the complete opposite way until about a mile in, where there were only local farmers and small, rundown residential buildings. Fortunately, we were able to wave down a buggy passing by and were dropped at the

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