Today was one of the nicest walking days I have experienced so far. The air was cool, the sun was warm as we came out of the shadows of the trees or hills, and the views were amazing all day long. We passed the first half of the day in the same valley we have been in for the last few weeks. Today though, we finally approached the mountains we have seen in the distance, with their stark white tops juxtaposed against the yellowish-brown rolling steppe all around us. It reminded us of Wyoming as we watch steep, jagged snow-covered mountains rise fast and steep in front of the shepherds with their large flocks of sheep.
After lunch we began a long steady uphill towards the valley to the north. Just before the summit, there was a herd of yak grazing on the thin yellowed grass. They stopped their grazing to watch us cautiously as we passed by, while we returned the stares. Then we were greeted by many rows of prayer flags drooped across the road on the summit of the hills pass. We dropped down the hill as if following the falling temperatures into the valley. The valleys have been impressive today with grasslands framed by mountains, and I only have reason to believe that it will continue as we head through Gansu. Gansu has definitely not disappointed thus far.
Distance: 29 km
Total Distance: 988 km
End: Anyuanzhen (安远镇)- Hotel
Written by Timb