Take a Hike…Girl Meets Great Wall

Perhaps you’ve forgotten any awe felt in your early days of education. Before you realized the magical cycle of butterflies, or the simplicity of multiplication. But I still feel perplexed when considering Great Wall of China….

I am not sure when the exact notion of the wall itself crept its way into my consciousness. But I DO know that I always assumed that it was one of the the WONDERS OF THE WORLD (it isn’t) because what it does: it evokes WONDER. Just imagine it, and perhaps you’ll feel an inkling of


I wrote a bit afterward, and someone emailed back, saying “you sound like you are lost in some romance” and in a way, I was.

I opened my spirit on this hike, reflective and yet happy, energized and surprisingly calm, and was pleasantly awake and alert to the crispness of the air, and then the heat of the hike itself.

The air felt clear and alive while trekking up the paths to get to The GREAT wall itself…. It’s path is lined with peddlers knowing enough English to persist in attempts to have journeyers buy souvenirs. A cable Car takes passengers up to a key post (they are numbered) for about $10 riundtrip and then it is open for your exploration. No big deal, when you are right ON it…and then you might be lucky enough to remember that it is over 2000 miles, and was built over the course of 1000 years.

I felt Invigorated to “be here” where my “mind” has visited since seeing it from the Images captured by the space shuttle years ago in grade school. Yet more than that. I wasn’t just 8 years old K, I was also almost 32 year old K…whose hip recently ripped the muscles off its bone and was tripping around with a cane.

And then, now, there, with that always present wandering spirit of mine…that push to  GET IN!
as much as possible. Only 2 hours allotted!

I was the first in our group (PRIDE! You will humble me soon!) to traverse up 550 steep steps to this high outpost and glance at this


This part was erected in the 14th century and I have no understanding at how all those blocks of stone were carried so high! Steps at least a few feet high comprise this particular part of the wall…and really, you are FORCED to climb…

if you want to get to the good part

Meaning my leg swung up high and I couldn’t see far ahead to the landing.

But then, thin air eking out the bare minimum sustenance for a bicycling of breath, I arrived

And then there us this woman
Out of no where
Like she hadn’t got a sell since Christmas staring at me and questioning
“where are you from?”
Her words clear

My memory now colluded with full breathes but knowing that I my lungs struggled.

I am here.


and am helped all along the way. 


At the beginning, I stopped I happened to look down and find a loved one’s name etched into a 500 year old stone. At the end, I heard German, and shared 5 minutes with new friends who offered me traditional German Gummies (called Hairbo Colorado Mix…bells dinging as I claim Colorado as my home-state).

Ever have a moment where you feel completely like you don’t belong, but are at home with yourself?

This was my moment in China….


4 thoughts on “Take a Hike…Girl Meets Great Wall

  1. I totally believe that the Great Wall has set you in awe! It’s amaing humans were able to make such a building! How touching to think of all the emotions that are tied to it – suffering, hope, sorrow, pride, despair … It must have cost many lives to build it …

    I know the feeling of being in congruence with myself at a place where I don’t belong on travels quite often, when I’m at especially beautiful or impressive places.

  2. I am so jealous. I have wanted to hike the great wall for eons. One day. One day. You have the best adventures K. You live an amazing life.

    And yes, I have had that feeling — it seems to be easiest to find in strange places.

  3. Pingback: K Travels…The High 5 of West Ireland « The Special K Treatment

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