28-Jun-2006 -- 37N – 120E Shandong (山东), China
Line Hunting Date: June 28, 2006
A Confluence Point between the Rock and a Hard Place
This is the first of two confluence points we planned to visit for our drive from Qingdao to Beijing. Without the detours for line-hunting, this 700 km drive on expressway normally will take about 8 hours. In anticipation of the few extra time for the two hunting related detours, we started off early at 7 am.
Except for the first 50 km was expressway, the remaining 100 km to get near the confluence point was slow going on secondary highway through many small towns. It took a little over 2 hours to reach the township – Da Ze Shen Xian (大泽山乡) where this confluence point belongs.
The area near the confluence point dotted with stone mountains and vineyards. We followed the GPS and found a dusty road leading toward one of the stone mountain with large granite blocks piled along the road. We abandoned the car next to a large quarry and walked up the hill on a road covered with several inch of fine stone powder. We found the confluence point located near the entrance of another quarry, right in front of a stone shed for the quarry workers.
The area where this confluence point is located is the foot hill of Da Ze Mountain (大泽山). We had a good view of the operation in the granite quarry. Most of the granite harvesting operation in this area belongs to the Ze Kuang (泽矿) company. Interestingly, nobody seemed to be bothered by us walking across the hard-hat areas where heavy machineries were operating. On the way out, we took the highway heading west and saw hundreds of granite supply yards with thin granite slabs of various shape and color ready to contribute to the building boom in China.
We estimated that the detour for this confluence point cost us about two and half hours mainly because of the slower traffic off the expressway. After this hunt, we headed toward the 2nd confluence point of the day (38N 118N) and felt confident that we will be able to reach Beijing in a reasonable hour.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
1 – straight forward drive and a short walk (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
3– Unusual sight of granite mountain and quarry operation (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
3 – Now we know where the nice kitchen counter top and grey bathroom wall came from (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)