I haven’t been to a country park in Hong Kong for a very long while. This time, because of a childhood friend and her kids, I got to visit one of them again. Thank you Nicam!!
Shing Mun Country Park is located at the northern part of the Kowloon Peninsula. For all the details about the park, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shing_Mun_Reservoir . No need for me to repeat it in this post.
One story I do want to remember is related to the huge groups of Macaque monkeys around that area. While hiking around the reservoir, there are groups of Macaque monkeys hanging around and you can see them pretty much everywhere. Since the notorious reputation of the monkeys stealing food from hikers, we stopped at a spot which did not see any monkeys within our sight for a snack.
By the time we started to hike again, two kids still each had a bag of potato chips in their hands. While crossing a creek, there was a group of monkeys on the other side of the crossing. Ching, the older girl due to her fear of monkeys (and she should), already putting her bag of chips away in a side pocket of her backpack. However, the boy, Long, was still munching on. By the time, we crossed the creek, there was already a monkey trailing Long’s backpack, right at the moment when he finished putting the chip bag away and started taking the narrow trail to go uphill, the monkey closed the distant and snatched the bag of chips from Long’s backpack side pocket. Just a split second, chips were gone and the trail of monkeys running away from us and following the monkey who got the food.
In hind sight, this is a funny incident. We all got a good laugh out of this.
We went there during mid July which was the peak season of park. I guess the amount of people over there kinda ruined the experience a little but it is still a very beautiful park. The landscape and rock features are really similar to Sierra Nevada. Huge Granite slabs with pine tree forest, lash green under growth with ice cold snow melt creeks crisscrosses underneath.
However, if you never see a moose before and really want to see one, that’s the park you want to go. Over the 4 day trips, we probably saw about 8 moose, baby, adults, male(buck), female(cow).
In terms of backpacking, you should probably plan ahead and make reservation online. We tried to do a 2 night 3 day route without reservation which turns out that’s not possible so instead, we had to go one night at a time. Stayed at Upper East Inlet one night and Granite Falls the other.
One more tip, the rangers/custodians at the Kawuneeche visitor center knows more about the camp sites than the ones at the Beaver Meadows visitor center. If you are winking it, you may have better luck at the Kawuneeche to get a backpacking permit and get a little more info about your camp site.
I have a week off in between jobs in June.Since I didn’t get any snowboarding days in my system the past winter, I was thinking are there anywhere on earth that I can go snowboarding? Out of shear luck or coincident, I found the Treeline Snowboard Camp on Google. This camp is definitely challenging physically and mentally, I do regret it a little I signed up for a whole week of camp. By the end of 3rd day, I was completely exhausted. Like the other campers, I should sign up for two days, take a day off, and come back the last day or two.
Overall, it’s a really fun camp. I met a lot of good campers and became good friends. Learned how to do a backflip on a trampoline, manage to do a half-180°, ride a rail boardslide, ollie? WTF is this, tried the giant jump multiple times without landing on the taint, riding the puss-pinching T-bar, riding switch, etc
I wish I have more photos or videos to share but I am still waiting for my coach to send our videos to us.
I have been playing around with my dji phantom drone for a while to capture arial videos around my neighborhood. One constant problem is my neighborhood is kinda windy and the video comes out shaky. Pretty much every single movement from the drone is directly transferred to the camera, hence to the video.
Video without gimbal:
In order to get less shaky image, you have to install an image stabilizer, aka gimbal.
After installing the gimbal, the video is definitely a lot smoother and as an add-on bonus, I can also control the tilt/pitch (meaning rotating up or down) of where the camera is pointing at. Here’s a video after installing the camera:
Finally, after living in Moss Beach for two years, I saw whales in the ocean right by my house. To be precise, it’s outside of Montara State Beach, not exactly next to my house but well, close enough. The whales must be attracted by the anchovies that concentrated along the coast here once a while. The pictures are not the best since they are quite far out from the shore.
Even the harbor seals are joining the fishing party.
For a while, we have been wanting to see a morel mushroom in the wild. However, it seems pretty tough to find if you don’t know the where and how. Eventually, we signed up with Forage SF (http://www.foragesf.com/) for their morel foraging tour so there will be a professional knows the where and how. It was surprisingly easy and abundant. Each one of us got at least a pound of morels packing back home. I have to say, 5 stars to the guide, Patrick Hamilton.