Early in the morning I checked the weather report: an 80% chance of light rain on Yangmingshan. I began plowing through online maps and information to find a suitable trail for the day. I ultimately settled on Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道] using Jyuansih Waterfall [絹絲瀑布] as a starting point. The trail once served as an important link between Shilin [士林] and Jinshan [金山].
After riding Yangmingshan’s park bus  to Jyuansih Station, I set out on the trail. The beginning of the trail runs parallel to the Shanjhuhu watercourse [山豬湖圳]. Its construction during the Japanese occupation period changed the primary crops of the area from sweet potatoes and corn to rice.
On the bus ride to the trail I noticed that the upper-elevations of Yangmingshan National Park were cloaked in cloud cover. However, this section of the trail was completely clear.
The section of the trail before the waterfall runs parallel to Touhu Creek [頭湖溪]:
It wasn’t long before I made it to Jyuansih Waterfall:
I walked shortly past the area pictured below when someone behind me yelled to me asking if I lost a red umbrella… I did… I left it down by the waterfall. They didn’t pick it up because they didn’t know it was mine. Luckily I had only walked for about 5 minutes when that was brought to my attention.
I couldn’t resist another shot when I returned:
At this point, I was eating an especially unsatisfying peanut butter sandwich from 7-11… I looked up and saw a beautiful Formosan Blue Magpie [台灣藍鵲 (Urocissa caerulea)] sitting in one of the tree’s branches up ahead. By the time I held my camera to my eye it had already flown away, I tried to spot where it had flown to but it was long gone:
I was now at Cingtiangang [擎天崗], in the spring of 1934, the Japanese set-up a prefecture ranch. A few signs had warned of wild cows of the area, I was seeing a lot of hoof prints and droppings, but I didn’t see any Taiwan Water Buffaloes in the mists.
I walked the trails searching and searching… I came across people and stray dogs, but still no cows!
What’s that in the distance? Oh, it’s just a couple taking a nap under an umbrella:
View the large
I was a few yards from the visitor center when I finally saw one [or six]:
I was pretty far so I wouldn’t disturb them… the group pics didn’t come out so well.
I had originally planned to take the trail all the way to Bayan [八煙], but a sign stated that there wasn’t a bus stop at Bayan. I got back on the park bus at Cingtiangang and headed back to the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal.