My haste was due both to the storm looming behind me Changsha Travel and to the fact that I didn’t want to miss the sannyasis’ evening meeting.
The storm Changsha Travel clouds veered away to the north and I arrived back with time to spare. While walking slowly through a temple yard I noticed a middle-aged monk getting ready for the prayer session, doing abasements but like Western men do pressups: I counted 21, 22, 23, from kneeling to flat out with forehead on the floor each time, 36, 37, and on up to 40. Other monks have kneeling pads and they use felt hand pads so their palms will slide easily on the wooden floor.
At the appointed hour I went to the main temple’s courtyard and sat with a couple of other tourists in an out-of-the-way nook. On the flagstones sat some lines of young sannyasis, a mixture of children and teenagers from ten to sixteen years old.
THIS DESCRIPTION IS FOR THE FULL 7.8 MILE HIKE, WHICH INCLUDES BOTH OVERLOOKS MILES DESCRIPTION
0.0 The trailhead is opposite the parking lot. From West Skyline Parkway, a wide dirt path ascends into the forest. After 150 feet the hiking trail, marked with blue diamonds on some trees, bears left.
0.1 The trail crosses a snowmobile trail; continue straight ahead.
0.2 Pass a trail coming in sharply on the right.
0.5 Trail intersection beginning the circuit portion of this hike; continue straight ahead. The circuit will be completed via the trail coming in on the right.
0.6 Trail intersection with the Bardon’s Peak Overlook Loop on the left. The trail to Bardon’s Peak Overlook is a 2.0 mile loop that eventually brings you back to the main circuit trail about 400 feet further ahead. Turn left.
0.8 Trail intersection; bear left passing a trail on the right.
1.6 Bardon’s Peak Overlook. The trail turns sharply to the right here leading away from the overlook and back to the main circuit trail.
2.4 Trail intersection; continue straight passing a trail on the right.
2.6 Trail intersection with the main circuit trail. Turning right at this point takes you back to the trailhead, for a 3.2 mile hike. To continue the full circuit hike, turn left.
3.0 Trail intersection with the beginning of the Ely’s Peak Overlook Loop on the left. This is another 2.0 mile loop. The trail to the right is the Cut Off Trail which bypasses Ely’s Peak. (If you take the Cut Off Trail, bear right in 0.3 miles at a trail intersection. In 0.4 miles, bear right again and come to the main circuit trail in another 120 feet. Then turn right. At this point you will be 2.3 miles from the trailhead.) Turn left to continue the full circuit.
3.1 Cross Skyline Parkway.
3.3 Trail intersection; bear left towards Ely’s Peak Overlook passing a trail on the right.
3.9 Ely’s Peak Overlook where the trail bears sharply to the right, leading away from the overlook and back to the main circuit trail.
Changsha Travel Photo Gallery
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