“NOT LOST IN THE JUNGLE;” Leader and group fattened up after snacks at end of “Trail to Nowhere.”

A healthy 21 people showed up Sunday to check out “old guy” Joe, the founder of Chiang Mai hiking group, and come along to see how mysterious a “mystery hike” would be. Among the 21 were fellow old timers Janet Greenleaf and John and Maggie Coaton, who participated in this hike when last done in 2006.

Hike leader Joe was pleased not only at the good number of people showing up, but with the overall physical condition and attitude of the group. People marched briskly up a steep, rutted jeep track, in the blazing sun leaving Joe in a soggy pool of sweat, “challenged” to keep up, then they waited obediently at each and every junction, as requested.

Once we left the main route, then, the secondary junction, turning off on a dirt track through a Thai farm, some local workers called out in concern (in Thai) fearing that we were “lost” – just as they did back in 2006! (Why else would a whole gaggle of farangs be marching along a path which did not go anywhere?)

This path continued, overlooking an increasingly lush valley, with no buildings in site, as the trail became increasingly more narrow and overgrown. And then…. it stopped. The “trail to nowhere” ended In the middle of a hillside lychee orchard. Some of us took our snack break in shade on a decrepit, quite filthy wooden platform, apparently rarely used for respite by the farm laborers. Others squatted in the grass in the shade of lychee trees.

Alas, Janet had other obligations requiring that she miss the lakeside lunch at Huay Tung Thao reservoir/resort area, and John and Maggie, as her drivers, also left early to accommodate her needs, as did a couple of others, but most of the rest of us reclined over lunch in the shade of a waterfront platform, afterwards. There seemed to be a consensus that any slog in the heat could be justified, as long as a cold Chang (or Fanta) be available to hold up and slosh down, at the end of it.

And Joe, sporting a bigger belly than when last seen wandering these hills in ’06, learned in this 2010 adventure to be sure not to stand sideways, when the camera was pointed his way!

Photo Credits: Andy Weysham

“”Shake it up baby – work it on out!” … up hill, in the sun….

“up the hill, in the sun…”

“relief at the top of the hill!”

“the trail levels off, gets narrower”

view across valley

farming up the hillside

“There’s people in them Lychee trees!”

snacks in grass and on the platform at end of the trail

Thanks for bringing your camera Andy, and sending in the pictures!