Seeking Lonely Mountain Peaks for Companionship, Fun, Nothing Serious

So Long Huangshan

If this mountain is cool with being alone, why not you?

The bus from the hotel to the Huangshan transport depot was brief. The other teachers from the school had risen early with visions of a hearty hike before them. According to guide books and a thorough wiki-ing, the steep walk could be evaded by cable car, and one could be treated to the splendours of a half-dozen mountain peaks and hours of trudgery without ever having to climb up one long, bleak side of the mountain itself.

A few of the others balked as I purchased the single ticket to the alternate destination. They were a posse of eight, forging up into the wilderness and the unknown of China, while I was one, alone. I would be solo on a mountain for hours, with no real knowledge of my companions or when I might meet up with them. I had a decent, though vague, reconstruction of a Google map imprinted on my brain which I would consult along with my compass. I had a good book, a nice camera, and money to purchase water and goods on the mountain top.

I had no companions and no one to talk to. Cell phone reception would probably be spotty at such altitudes. I would definitely be on my own. I waved my goodbyes, shouldered my backpack, and soldiered on.

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The Social Day Off

Book. Tea. Silence.

Because I am very specifically lazy about certain aspects of my life, I never ever have kept track of my social appointments on some sort of calendar. I buy agendas and journals and planners, and I download programs that will remind me of important dates, but I never commit to these things. It was strange then, earlier this year, to stop during one of these fits of determined life-organization, to write down all of the parties and get-togethers and shindigs and bake-a-thons and fun-runs and baked potato festivals, in hopes of getting my life together and organizing my affairs. And then to see the actual number of them. I looked at my calendar and was sure that there must have been some mistake. Every weekend for the next four months was full.

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