Day 20


Today, as we walked from the Maijishan Grottoes, we descended out of the mountains leaving the cleaner air and mountain streams behind. In front of us was construction and road work for the majority of the day. I figured the road was being widened to accommodate the visitor during peak tourist season. As for now, it seemed strange that such a low traffic road required the amount of developing that surrounded us. However, our trailers handled the rough terrain pretty well as we trundled over loose rock and debris of the road work. Yay trailers! The villages that skirted the road side each had a small mountain of coal as well as large persimmon trees loaded with fruits. One town, clearly the biggest one between the grottoes and the city of Tianshui, had a long market street of shops and stalls spilling out of their bounds onto the street. Amazingly, these shops and stall all seemed to be selling very similar products such as brooms and stools and kitchen wares. It’s amazing to me how so many vendors, all selling the same wares, can all make business. The stalls selling fruits, nuts, and seeds were plentiful with large selections. This street was not a big street yet it accommodated the vendors, the foot traffic, and vehicles, which included the heavy trucks on their way to the road work sites on both sides of this market town. Continuing down into the Tianshui valley the smog and dust was palpable enough to taste. Despite the less than glamorous setting, today was very pleasant with our new group dynamics. Today our wolf pack grew to four as Conner joined us for the second leg or our journey. We had an array of conversations today with nothing too specific since walking and talking is very difficult in a single file fashion. We talked about the usual daily flow, the plan for the next leg—Tianshui to Lanzhou—, and dialing our systems. Between the construction and smog our conversations turned to renewable energies and China’s initiatives for a sustainable future. The rest of our day was filled with simply sharing stories and getting to know each other one step at a time.


Distance: 21 km

Total Distance: 410 km

End: Maiji Qu 麦积区 - Hotel


Written by Pat

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Silk Walk Expedition


Our mission is to walk from one symbolic end of the Silk Road to another weaving together stories of People, Places, and Purpose.




Наша миссия - пройти от одного символического конца Шёлкового Пути до другого, переплетая истории различных Мест, Людей, и их Целей.