25-Aug-2003 -- The confluence took much longer to reach than I anticipated. The highlight of this trip was the unexpected beauty of the scenery through which we had to travel to reach the area where the confluence lies. We drove through forests, hills, mountains, a national park, many medeval villages, plains, and desert.
The beginning of our journey, highway G109, was rather difficult to find, but once we found the entrance, we were on our way.
We left Beijing at 11:00am, and didn't reach the confluence until 4:00pm. I only expected it to take 2.5 to 3 hours. Unfortunately the confluence was 6.33 kms from the highway, and the village road which would have taken us to within a 2 km hike was inpassable. Therefore, because we could see where the confluence was, and because it was too late in the day to try to hike to the exact confluence spot, we decided to concede defeat in not having reached the exact confluence spot, but claimed victory for having borne witness to some extraordinary scenery on the way. The pictures can't even begin to do the scenery justice. It's amazing that highway G109 was practically deserted except for local traffic. The road conditions were excellent, and it's a trip I recommend to anyone who lives in or who is visiting the Beijing area.
We decided to take a quicker route home, opting for a major expressway some 70 kms to the North of the confluence, arriving back in Beijing at 7pm.