“I’m going to Chii-NA!”


In a recent conversation with a relative, I was reminded of Saturday mornings when my brothers and sisters, and I were young children.  My Dad would come down the steps and head for the front door.   Each week, we would call out to him to ask him where he was going, because we knew he didn’t have to be at work.  When we asked him where he was going, he would turn toward us and reply,

“I’m going to Chii-NA!”

To which I remember asking him if I could go along with him, and he would said, “No.”

My Dad would open the front door.  As the memory plays out in my mind, I can hear the door close and the screen door slam shut.  With that, he was gone on a mysterious trip for the day; he was really running errands all morning. I was left not knowing where he was going, when he would return, and an ever lingering hope of the chance to go to this mysterious place some day.

 Life has a funny way of working itself out.  So many years later, It seems ironic that one of his 8 children left the US on a Saturday morning for a trip to China. I’m so glad I was able to go away on a mysteriously long journey of my own to an exquisitely beautiful country.


Mei Pass, Jiangxi, China

Hiking an ancient trade route…the Mei Pass to the next province.


This is the start of a steep mountainous trail.



An ancient bell surrounded by a grove of bamboo.

The Plum blossoms line this trail bloom in December and January.


I believe this sign is saying not to pull the branches down to reach the plums.


The best way to collect the matured plums is to use a long piece of bamboo to shake the branches to let go of the fruit, as this woman is doing in the picture.



The passage way to the next province.


Crossing over to the other side.




Yoneda, Tim, and Liangyou

 I don’t know if I will ever have the chance to pass this way again, so I found myself savoring the experience of hiking this trail on a lovely day.  My favorite part of this trip was spending time with the people, sharing meals, and seeing China from a whole new perspective.