We walked an ultra-marathon today! It probably isn't a super commonly known fact but anything over 42 km is considered an ultra-marathon. We started later than we would have loved to, and ended later than we would have liked, too (took us about 12 hours to finish).
The reason we were even able to walk so long is the blessing in disguise of having the police transport us and our trailers to Yumen. We didn't know how exactly to take this string of events causing us to arrive in Yumen two days before our plan but it gave us the opportunity to do something a little crazy. The opportunity to walk with ultralight packs and without trailers! Even the idea of doing that now fills me with joy.
We started the day at 8:30 by getting into a taxi that would take us back to the truck stop that we originally got kicked out of. He was confused as to why we were going to seemingly the middle of nowhere. When we explained what our big plan was (walking the silk road) he caught on quickly and got kinda jazzed at our plan for the day. He drove slowly because of all the snow that had fallen the day before. There aren't any snow plows here so all the snow gets packed down hard and slick, making it dangerous for everyone on the road. It took us an hour and a half to drive 48 km.
When we started we were full of energy and stoked that we had committed to something bigger than any of our other days. We had no other option other than finishing and making it back to our beds in Yumen because we were carrying nothing but snacks, water, and one extra layer of clothing. There would be no camping tonight and only one finish line.
The sun was out all in force today and being helped by the layer of pure white snow that blanketed everything our eyes could see. When we made it back to our room for the night we noticed something peculiar the sun has been doing to us over the walk; perhaps heightened by the reflection of the snow today. Our left side of our face is noticeably tanner than the right side because we spend all day walking west and the sun is always on our left! We look like a bunch of goons!
I hope this long day doesn't give us any injuries for the future days to come so we can tackle something like this again.
Distance: 48 km
Total Distance: 1708 km
End: Yumen - Hotel
Written by Paul