The Hexi Corridor is aptly named, as the valley we are in is less of a valley and more of a long flat plain with row after row of low lying mountains to both sides. The colorful dirt has become scarce leaving only a few splashes to be seen each day. The days themselves have become very much the same as we walk the G312 (a highway) from Lanzhou to Wuwei, passing through village after village that all look the same. The villages are a few rows of houses deep to either side of the road at their largest. With houses and businesses made of brick—all of them with coal stoves heating their interiors and drawing the bulk of customers to sit near them during meals. The cold is here, and snow fills the corners of the fields while ice skirts the edges, if not completely, skim's the puddles, streams, and reservoirs that we pass, but winter has not yet arrived.
Today was the day we prioritized putting kilometers under our belts over a potentially warm hotel room. We added a strong four kilometers before we decided to set up camp in a nearby field. At the same time, a few people stopped in a car and followed us to our would-be campsite and gave us bottled tea and watched as we went about setting up camp and started dinner. They looked cold and didn’t say much. So, to break the ice, Timb offered his gigantic soviet winter coat which was gladly accepted. As of now, though, our guests are gone, dinner is on, and my fingers are freezing. Good day and good night y’all.
Distance: 22 km
Total Distance: 891 km
End: Cabbage Field - Camping
Written by Pat