Sichuan Day 3: YELLOW DRAGON

Located 125km away from Jiuzhaigou itself, Huanglong or Yellow Dragon is a smaller, but no less scenic national park located towards the Songpan Plateau. Because of the unique rock formations made through calcification, the Huanglong Valley has developed some amazing formations and rock pools. The Yellow Dragon moniker comes from the calcified rock looking like a yellow Chinese dragon wandering through the valley.

Here’s the wikipedia article about the location.

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Jiuzhaigou Part Two

For my second day in the park, I took the bus up to the middle – and instead of exploring the entire park like I did on the first day, I was determined to go back and cover the few things I missed – mainly the ancient forest up at the top of the valley, the panoramic view of multi color lake and the shuigang falls, both of which I only saw from the bus on the previous day.

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October Holiday – Jiuzhaigou, Sichaun

As every Chinese holiday comes around, the eternal question is always where to go? A lot of people recommend getting out of the country because the rest of China is on vacation at the same time, and going to any tourist, resort, scenic area in China means dealing with millions (no exaggeration) of other tourists.

I chose to ignore all that and took at trip to Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan, China. THe Jiuzhaigou valley is known as one of China’s most scenic areas and it is named for the nine Tibetian villages that used to be inhabited in the valley. Instead of me explaining all this – it’s probably easier to go right to the travel wiki article:

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Hood to Coast

So after all that we finally made it to Portland to run Hood to Coast, “The Mother of All Relays!”

(Sorry some of this is going to sound a little heavily Nike – I wrote a recap for an internal presentation and am just cutting and pasting from there.
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So close . . . no matter how far

This story begins in high school. When I was a junior at Bonita High School I had Advanced Chemistry class and in our class there was a senior girl (whose name escapes me right now) who for some reason was taking chemistry with all the nerdy juniors. She was a big big metal listener, and this was back in the day when all I listened to was KROQ/Modern Rock along with hip hop (Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys mainly). So metal and its fans scared me. I distinctly remember one Spring day when my classmate came into class, wearing sunglasses the entire time and asking people not to be so loud. She had been at the Metallica concert the night before and was clearly still feeling the pain. That was basically my introduction to Metallica.

Fast forward a year and the black album comes out and Metallica is suddenly everywhere and has crossed over into the mainstream. You would even hear “Unforgiven” on KROQ. So, I bought the black album and became a little bit familiar with Metallica.

If you asked me, when I moved to Shanghai what large bands would I assume would never come to Shanghai – Metallica would be on that list. I mean .. . Chinese metalheads? Nah. Don’t exist.


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Chinese Summer

It’s 38 degrees outside. Thermometers are melting all over. That’s the perfect time to get out and play!

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last month:

Tracy and I out running with the Shanghai Darkrunners

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Celebrating America’s 237th while abroad

It’s always a little strange to celebrate July 4th while being abroad, while living in an international city. There’s the surface similarities of barbecues and some red, white and blue bunting and I think a lot of people feel even more “American!” while living overseas. But the difference is that your barbecue is more often than not just a barbecue, the accents are not wholly American (as last night there were Swiss, Germans, Aussies, Hong Kongers, Canadians and of course, Chinese). I’m of the opinion that this is a positive thing though, what better to represent the US abroad than inclusiveness (while we are losing that attribute at home).

Anyways, this is really just an excuse to post my favorite patriotic song, which is Ray Charles’ singing America the Beautiful. (One on Tudou for Mainland Chinese readers, one on Youtube)

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Living without a cell phone in 2013

[Note: Gross Story ahead]

So I sweat a lot when I run – and it was about 34 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon when I went to Century Park on Sunday at lunch time. I usually run with my phone in a little waist pouch, which tracks me by GPS and allows me to listen to music when I run.

I had run about 4 km and was . . . rounding the corner down the last stretch when suddenly my phone died. I took it out of my pouch, and it was soaked. And heating up. This was not good.

I finished my run and took my phone home and put it in a bag of rice for a couple of days (as they say to do) but it wouldn’t turn on or show any signs of life. It’s now at the Apple Genius Bar awaiting repair (Friday noon).

I’ve been without my phone for 3 days already and while I’ve noticed there are times I miss it (playing games on the bus, waiting for the subway) and then making plans to meet with people can be difficult, but I don’t miss not having it THAT much.

However it is highly probable my friends and co-workers really miss it. Everyone has been like “YOU’RE NOT ANSWERING TEXTS . . .WHERE ARE YOU?!” But me, I’ve gotten used to it already. I think the real lesson is that people want to get in touch with you – but you don’t necessarily need to be in touch with people. Or at least that’s MY lesson.

I’ll be glad to get it back on Friday though.

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We’re going to Hood to Coast!!!


One month of running hard . . . and recording it. Social networking it. Running. Running #nevernotrunning – and we were selected to go to Oregon. Now we actually need to run the thing.

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Moving. Ugh.

So I’ve moved from Huangpu District, near Xinzha Road all the way down to Jiaotong University.

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So if you know me, you know I have a lot of possessions. Stuff. Things. I am definitely not walking around with an empty backpack – now packing all of that was a mess. There was so much stuff that the woman from the old apartment complex said “wow, you really have a lot of boxes.”

One of the things about my new apartment is that it is about 15% smaller! Ugh, I really have to edit my personal possessions. Things which have journeyed with me from Hong Kong to Houston to Shanghai have met an ignominious end in one move. And I’m still not done unpacking and setting up (of course, I’ve only been in my new place for 4 days).

Hopefully this will be my place for a while longer now.

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