Today was a quiet day. Physically recovering from the ultra-marathon the previous day, we finally aroused ourselves to get food around noon. Venturing out we found that everyone was out in the streets, shoveling. Apparently, a town as big as Yumen doesn't have plows. It was a real experience seeing everyone come out and work together for a common goal. Today we realized that if we continued as planned we would end up in the heart of nowhere desert for Chinese New Year. We decided that we ought to be somewhere that we can better share this week-long holiday, which is the largest cultural holiday in China. Not looking forward to simply waiting around in Yumen for 3 days at an expensive foreigner hotel, we have decided to head to Dunhuang by train for the Holiday then return to continue after. This enables us to visit a significant silk road oasis city on the southern Chinese route.
After preparing for this, we spent the rest of the day cutting gear we thought we no longer needed. Most of these are small items. From the planning stage, our goal was to bring more and reduce while on the road. A lot of these cuts are small and seemingly minor. It is only as a collective that they are significant, such as cutting bandaids because we all use tape, reducing to a single group medicated foot powder. It is almost a form of recreation on this trip for me to contemplate what I could cut. What is it that I am carrying that I wouldn't miss living without. As crazy as it might seem to some people I feel like I have too much stuff. This probably does not surprise anyone who has ever been on trail with me before. Having too much stuff is something I have always struggled with. Through expeditions recently, I have worked to change my mindset from 'use everything I bring', to 'bring only what I need'. I imagine the reason I still struggle with this is being a boater by nature. Even on these walking trips, it has much the feeling of a canoe as nearly anything can be thrown on the trailer with the only felt consequence of having less space and more stuff. But stuff weighs you down. The more I have, the harder it is to pack my trailer. I will work to continue this shift throughout the expedition and I hope I roll into Istanbul with far less than I have now.
Distance: 0 km
Total Distance: 1708 km
End: Yumen - Hotel
Written by Timb