02-Jul-2006 -- 36N – 111E Shanxi (山西), China
Line Hunting Date: July 2, 2006
The Second confluence point of the Heart of China Expedition
This is the second confluence point we visited during our a two-week road trip to the Tibetan area in southern Gansu (甘肃) province – the Heart of China Expedition. We visited this point on the morning of day 3 of our journey, about 995 km since we started.
After completed our hunt for 37N 112E on the day 2 afternoon, we drove until dark and reach the capital Xian Ning County (乡宁县)in Southwestern region of Shanxi. This put us about 13 km GPS distance from this confluence point. More importantly, it is a jumping point to reach the crossing into Shaanxi (陕西) province next to a famous gorge known as the Hu Kao waterfall (壶口瀑布).
Like many places across Shanxi province, the main industry in Xian Ning County is coal mining. The city is divided by a river with remarkable contrast. On one side of the bank all buildings are old and crowded, but on the other side it is entirely tall buildings with modern architectures.
We headed toward the confluence point immediately after breakfast. After 20 km on a well paved county road, we reached a turn-off heading into the hill with 2 km remaining from the confluence point. The dirt road forked and we picked the right fork following the GPS’s arrow. As we go up the hill dense fog and drizzle made visibility less than 50 meters. The closest point from the dirt road to the confluence point was about 800 meters and only Ray took off for the hunt in the rain. Florence and Oreo decided to stay warm and dry in the car.
The trail headed straight toward the confluence point for about 500 meters. But the last 300 meters required the decent of a slope of mixed of grass and bushed. The last 15 meters before the confluence point was a steep hill side with dense trees. With some struggle to climb down the last stretch and surprise – a wide open dirt road – and the confluence point located in the middle of the road!
It was evident that, had we taken the left fork of the dirt road, we could reach the point easily by car. After a quick call, the rest of the hunting party drove up to the point in less than 5 minutes. We started our trip toward Shaanxi provinces after a few pictures in the rain.
Before noon, we reached yellow river and crossed over into Shaanxi. We spend half hour at the Hu Kao Waterfall. At this location where the yellow river funneled into a narrow gorge resulting in rapid with tremendous force photo 9. It is truly an impressive sight.
We finished the day in Tong Chuan (铜川)city in central Shaanxi which also put us 7 km from another confluence point.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
1 – a point located in the middle of a road (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
1– county road mainly for coal transportation (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
2 – Rural Shanxi farming and mining community (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)