We are over a month into our journey and the daily grind is beginning to feel more and more routine. Today we walked from a small village to Dingxi along a frontage road. It brought us past a driving school town filled with student drivers, and nothing but restaurants and hotels. My best guess is that this driving center is a regional thing, and people come from all around to take their driver’s tests here requiring a whole town of hotels and restaurants and nothing else, but we may never know for sure. The road we walked had already harvested fields on both sides as well as several acres of tree farms. The trees have all lost their leaves except the dust covered evergreens that blended in with the drab colored rolling hills of the valley we walked through on our way to Dingxi.
While we walked along this same road all day long I noticed I checked my phone several times for navigational updates with increasing frequency as we approached our destination. It made me think of the way we travel nowadays. What must’ve it been like to travel so long ago? Before smart phones and navigation systems? Before atlases and paved roads that straighten and flatten our routes? It made me appreciate the work, skill, and imagination of the explorers, pioneers, and cartographers that helped us to see our world in a more tangible way. Today I’m thankful for so many things, but I’m really thankful for maps.
Distance: 28 km
Total Distance: 672 km
End: Dingxi (定西)- Hotel
Written by Pat