As we drove down highway #9 on that very hot day in early August, I could see our destination in the far-off distance. We were nearing Sixty Stone Mountain (六十石山) which is located between Hualien and Taitung (often spelled Taidong) on Taiwan’s east coast. When we turned onto Chanye Road, glimpses of green grassy fields with pops of orange could be vaguely seen up ahead.
The road started to become smaller and narrower and we started to travel upwards. Closer and closer we were getting to the viewing point. Slower and slower we edged our way up the mountain. Several tiger lily pickers could be seen harvesting the flowers.
The mountain stands at the elevation of mere 800 meters which is hardly considered high or substantial. But don’t let that fool you. The views from the top were bound to warrant the amount of effort to get there.
But, as we slowly zoomed higher and higher, we heard this very annoying sound of metal scraping on the pavement. The noise was becoming more distinct as came closer to the viewing point. That’s when we notice the muffler of the car in front of us playing hopscotch on the ground. Only a piece of metal prevented it from falling off and becoming a road hazard. It disrupted my concentration and focus momentarily about the main purpose for this journey.
After several twists and turns, we had finally arrived. We informed the driver of his muffler problem and after doing our good deed for the day, we were finally on our way to explore everything 60 Stone Mountain had to offer.
I had a feeling that this place would be absolutely deserted when we were scheduled to arrive and I was exactly right. It was nearing midday on a Tuesday and the few people would were probably making their way to 60 Stone Mountain that day would surely opt to visit during the early morning or late afternoon. Plus, it wasn’t peak season yet for blooming which meant fewer people and less flowers but guaranteed a better viewing experience.
We were approached by some locals who informed us that if we had waited another two weeks, it would have been even more spectacular and amazing. But then we would have to contend with larger crowds, potential traffic jams, and competition for space.
I was quite content to sit under the gazebo that day and soak up the entire scenery surrounding me: the gently rolling hills, the flowers creating hints of orange on the green landscape, and the welcome summer breeze, which made my day more comfortable and bearable that hot summery day.
Roaming around the fields of Tiger Lilies was the highlight of my day. It was amazing to stroll around and see orange flowers as far as the eye could see. The beauty of the surrounding hills, the clean air was a welcome relief, and having the area basically to ourselves was the perfect escape from reality.
We had an awesome day strolling around the area and although it wasn’t the perfect time for viewing, we made the most of our trip there. And before we left, how could we turn down the opportunity to sample some tiger lily dishes. We had fried tiger lilies, soup with tiger lilies, and an ice bar where the tiger lily was the main ingredient. It was the perfect end to a great day!
Have you ever visited a place where flowers were the star of the show? Where was it and what type of flowers were growing there?