04-Jul-2006 -- 36N – 104E Gansu (甘肃), China
Line Hunting Date: July 4, 2006
The 4th confluence point of the Heart of China Expedition
This point was visited on the morning of day 5 of our trip to the Tibetan area in southern Gansu (甘肃) province – the Heart of China Expedition. It was reached after 2180 km of driving since the start of the journey. This is the closest confluence point to Lanzhou ( 兰州 ), the capital of Gansu, only about 8 km from the city center.
We started the day in Tian Shui city (天水市), the largest city in eastern Gansu. Most the drive was on expressway except for a stretch of detour on mountain road for 80 km. We reached the closest location to the confluence point on the expressway with 750 meters left to go off the expressway. Instead of finding a road, we parked the car on the expressway shoulder to start the hunt on foot.
It was high noon and very hot such that Florence was not keen to join the hunt and preferred to move on. It was not easy for Ray to forgo a confluence point when it was this close so a compromise was made – Ray promised to compete the hunt in less than 30 minutes while the rest of the party wait in the air conditioned car.
The terrain was a bit hilly with a several gullies such the actual approach was much longer than the 750 meters as measured by GPS. The confluence point was reached after a good run down the hill. After a few quick photos, the uphill run started. The entire round trip took just about 25 minutes – the promise was kept!
We drove through Lanzhou city after the hunt and found a nice road side restaurant for a late lunch and well earned beer for the dehydrated line hunter.
We reached Xia He ( 夏河), the main destination of our expedition before sunset. On the way to Xia He, we came within 15 km of the geographic center of China (35Ｏ 33’ 49”N - 103Ｏ33’ 19”E), but we did not have time to visit this special point. We made plan to visit it later on the way home.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
1 – a short hike or run from the expressway (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
2– hilly desert landscape not very special (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
0 – Did not have a chance to explore this aspect – on a tight schedule or only had 30 minutes to do the hunt (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)