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that look like malachite, bright purple stones, red stones, and brown stones. Many of them seem to be varieties of granite and are very hard, for the steps, which are very old, are hardly worn at all.
The vegetation consists mainly of a few scraggly evergreens and Japanesy pines, although on the lower reaches there are little cultivated patches, only a few feet square, where the beggars who live on the steep slopes raise vegetables and a little grain.
The usual way to go up Tai Shan is to start from Taian Fu, a town of about 30,000 people, and go up in bearer-chairs, little wicker seats swung between two poles and carried on the shoulders of two smiling, grunting, dirty coolies. Each chair has four men, two to carry and two who rest. A coolie receives for such a day's work the whole sum of sixty cents “mex,” a little over a quarter.
The peculiar charm of a trip up Tai Shan lies in the combination of the pleasure of climbing for its own sake with the fascination of the Orient. After you have passed the arched gateway that begins the trail you pass an old, half-ruined temple, where you are shown a dried man, infinitely old and withered, ninety-four years old he was when he died, who sits in silk and solemnity in the temple courtyard. All the way along you pass at intervals similar temples, perched in crannies in the rock, where dwell Buddhist nuns with shaved heads, or little teahouses with strange names. “Tiger Lying Hall” was, I remember, the place where we ate our lunch. Part wa ul ou pass a gateway inscribed "Horse Return Precipice," where presumably you part with your steed, though we saw nothing resembling a horse on the way. The temples also have charming names, "First Heaven Gate," "Half Heaven Gate," and, at the top of the steep rocky gorge which the trail follows all the latter part of the way, "South Heaven Gate."
The sides of the gorge are carved at frequent intervals with characters and inscriptions, in commemoration of pilgrimages made by a contemporary of Cleopatra, or a pious emperor of the Middle Ages, or even a wealthy silk merchant of today. "Where there is prayer there is answer," "Piety," and other religious sentiments are everywhere. One inscription reads: “Confucius took this route.” Another, of four characters, means literally, "Good, Emperor, Wind, Flows," and illustrates well the stenographic character of the Chinese language, for it means "A good emperor goes up like wind and flows down like water." This is in commemoration of a successful trip by some long-dead potentate.
Near the top is a precipice over which devotees used to throw themselves in a religious ecstasy to the rocks below. So great was the loss of life that the authorities have guarded the place with a high wall.
The climb itself is very gradual and not at all difficult till you reach the last stretch before the "South Heaven Gate" the top of the rocky gorge. Here the steps are very high and very narrow, and travelers are wont to rest frequently. And here an amusing incident occurred to me. I had hired a chair in proper style, but I had not ridden in it at all on the way up, to the delight of my coolies, who thought me nothing less than half-witted to walk when I might have swung at ease. At this last stretch they had gone ahead of me and were waiting on the stairs. As I came up they all fell to clapping their hands and giving nasal grunts that sound like “haw" and mean “good.” They smiled and flattered till I was forced to laugh, for I knew that, while part of it was surprise that a foreign lady could walk so far, the greater part of it was fear lest at the last minute I should show a white feather and climb into the chair. But I plodded on alone, and they applauded joyously.
After the "South Heaven Gate” the path tops the rocky gorge and turns out over a wide plateau, on which at a little distance stands the temple of the summit.
It is very clean and windy here. Below you on every side stretches the flat brown plain, like the floor of earth. In the foreground are green-flecked foothills and, beside you in this airy space, the sloping gold-tiled temple roofs. A black bird, like a crow, flies and circles over the blue abyss, and another bird calls from somewhere with a song like our bob-white.
Besides the temple, in the infinite spaciousness and peace where the great winds are, stands a broken and crumbling monument. Carved on it are the words, “On this spot once Confucius stood and felt the smallness of the world below.” And though
the body of Confucius has lain these twenty-five hundred years in Chu Fu, his spirit stands today, eternally, on the summit of Tai Shan and looks out from the footstool of heaven over the smallness of man and his world.
THE KERN RIVER OUTING OF 1916
BY JESSIE MCGILVRAY TREAT
'HE weeks and months of anticipation were at an end, for
the first of July had come at last, and we were actually started for Kern River Cañon. The Fates had decreed from the first moment that this should be the best outing ever taken by the Sierra Club. High fog, heaven-sent, made the much dreaded tramp through the foothills to Nelson's a delight. Inspired by that incomparable elation that comes when we can live each moment for the sheer joy of it, and measure our days only by our unrestrained pleasure and incessant delight, we swung up the trail, radiant. The path led up a closely covered foothill cañon, wooded with chaparral and occasional fine trees, now and then crossing rushing creeks which later poured into the South Fork of the Tule. An early luncheon close beside the stream, a drowsy half-hour stretched out in the shade listening to the ceaseless chatter of the swirling water, and then, refreshed, we pushed on to Nelson's. At this first camp all the old Sierrans graciously offered advice and assistance to the newcomers and the genial good-fellowship, which prevails throughout the outing, was at once manifest. Toward evening a rift in the fog gave us some idea of the beauty of the surrounding hills, and a rosy sunset glow promised a sunny morrow. This second day will be remembered by all forest-lovers, for our way was through superb sequoia groves on both sides of the TuleKern Divide. Fine specimens of sugar pine, yellow pine, and fir added variety. Then we followed down Freeman's Creek to Lloyd's Meadows, where we pitched our camp. Those who fortunately arrived early had the joy of a swim and developed great dexterity in catching the lemons which floated downstream from the soda-spring above, using them for manicure or shampoo, as fancy or necessity dictated.
Out of this meadow we climbed, a thousand feet, to drop down again to the ford of the Little Kern, where we all anticipated much amusement. Some waded across, the swift current