2016: what the year! Though I spent most of 2016 in China, I did manage to travel to a few other countries. This blog entry, as well as the next two, will be a recap of where I went and what I did last year.
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The world-famous Great Wall of China sees millions of visitors every year. The vast majority of tourists visit the restored sections, such as Badaling and Mutianyu. However, there are also many long stretches of the Great Wall that receive almost no visitors. During winter, it would be a rare occasion indeed to see another living soul in these parts.
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The Great Wall is a highlight of any visit to China. What a lot of people don't know is that the wall doesn't exist in one continuous stretch. Instead, the Great Wall has many sections, some totally restored, others original. In many sections, you can walk for hours without seeing anyone. You can even camp on the wall. Beijing (my current home) is less than two hours from the wall, so I've had many chances to go, to different sections and in different seasons.
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For the first time this year, I went ice climbing near Lone Rock, WI. Next to highway 133 was a nicely formed column of ice, ending at the frozen Wisconsin River. Because of this year's lengthy winter, the ice was in better condition than last March. Not for long, though: this week's high temperatures probably mark the end of the ice climbing season, at least in southern Wisconsin. But there still should be climbable ice north of here....… Read More »
With winter in full swing, it was time for some more ice-climbing fun, this time a bit closer to home. I went with a few folks from the Hoofers Mountaineering Club to Cox Hollow in Governor Dodge State Park, about an hour from Madison. With the temperature at… Read More »
As a zany way to celebrate the new year, Gokul and I set out for a winter ascent of Ship Rock. Several of these castellated sandstone mounds jut from the otherwise flat terrain in central and western Wisconsin. Many are visible from I-94; this… Read More »
After getting fattened up for Christmas, I took off with some friends on a road trip to northern Wisconsin. Our first stop was Nine Mile County Forest for some cross-country skiing. The park was beautiful, with well-groomed trails and nice weather.… Read More »
I drove northbound through the frigid cold for most of the day. I wanted to get to Thunder Bay, Ontario and didn't think I'd make it at first because the roads were terrible. At times I had to slow down to 25 on the highway and still was sliding around and had almost no visibility.… Read More »