18-Aug-2010 -- After finding that trips to Aba would not be possible during this time of year (Sept. 2010) because of dangerous road conditions, I set my sights on some more attainable confluences to the south and east of Chengdu.
Visited by countless villagers (who likely had little knowledge of the significance of their visit to these confluences) and by some others who actually had designs on coming to these pieces of land with GPS in hand and taking pictures of the four cardinal directions in the Sichuan countryside.
It had indeed been rainy in Sichuan and I saw plenty of evidence even in these areas with low hills. I can imagine that the mountains of western Sichuan constantly rained down rocks and debris down as they are so much higher and steeper than these hills are.
My early visit to this confluence had me park my vehicle along the main turnoff where a large monument is dedicated to the construction of the road some time ago. Because of the hour, and because I was walking "against the flow" I saw many farmers young and old and many children pass me by going towards the town I had just left. Surprised they were to see me. More so upon hearing I spoke a language comprehensible to them. :)
As I arrived at the point, I worried that it would be located in the middle of the rice field, which as you know are more like children's swimming pools full of water. Amazingly, the confluence point (for my gps anyway) rested directly upon the raised dirt path (6 inches wide) between two sections of soggy field. Success was quick and largely unnoticed by others. A few shy dogs came to have a look though.