Monday, September 13, 2010

Traveling With M13: The Sequel: Return to Toad Valley

A few months ago I featured a visit to a swimming area in the mountains above Taoyuan City, that I was given directions to, by M13 (Mordeth13). M13 is a vlogger that lives in Taiwan with a unique approach to vlogging. He does it on the back of a motorcycle and videos through his helmet. He recently started a touring company, here that he is calling," Two Wheeled Adventure Tours."  ( The man knows Taiwan and a lot of beautiful places in Taiwan, so if you’re in the market for a motorcycle or motorscooter tour, visit his website and book one. Okay so that was a shameless plug. I recently had an opportunity to meet him and found him a likable, and very funny guy, although sometimes his sense of humor is a little shocking.

Anyway, I didn’t write this just to plug his company. When I posted the trip to the swimming place, (May 2010; “Traveling with M13”) people commented that the place was beautiful and their surprise at the lack of people. The reason for that was that it was during the spring time and on a weekday, so people were at school and work.

We and two other families decided to revisit this place, called Toad Valley, and spend a Saturday during the summer. Things were a bit different, in

terms of the number of people at the place.

We left about 8:30 on Saturday morning and drove along surface streets to reach Toad Valley. It’s about a 45 minute drive from our house. We wound through the mountains and scenery arriving around 9:30. Already, there were a number of people at the river. We found a nice area under the canopy, and set up our barbeque. The kids immediately got down to business and got in the water and most of the adults sat around a talked.
As you can see, the place was somewhat more crowded than our first visit.  People were curious about us some asked where we were from:  Some sneaked a look at what we were grilling on the old BBQ:  Some of the younger guys were stealing looks at my daughters.  (That's just a bit too curious for my taste, so I gave them the old stink-eye.)

Then we fired up the barbeque and barbequed a number of things. As you might have guessed a Taiwanese barbeque is a little different from what Americans do back home. Menu items included: Whole squid, Chinese sweet Pork Sausage, Cheeseburgers, (that was our contribution), potato salad (also our contribution) and Shitake mushrooms.

I was talking with my friend Ken and he asked if Americans barbequed only on special days, as they do in Taiwan. Of course the answer to that, is that in Southern California during the summer, every day is a special day.

About 3:00 o’clock the clouds rolled in. By 3:15 we heard the first blast of thunder, by 3:30 we were packed and out of there as the storm pelted us with huge raindrops that seemed to be pretty close together. I couldn’t run between them, anyway. If you know me you know there’s two reasons why that isn’t possible. I’ll leave you to ponder what those reasons are…
One of the reasons we were popular

The other reason

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