02-Jun-2004 -- 40 N – 113 E Shanxi(山西), China
Visit Date: June 2, 2004
This is the first confluence visit of the Shanxi by the Yip-Bannicq group (Ray). It is the second line hunting on the same day with Button Zhao after 40°N 112°E in the morning as part of our drive from Inner Mongolia back to Beijing.
This particular point located about 12 km southwest of Da-Tong, the largest city in northern Shanxi, and about 3-4 km south of the main highway we took going toward Da-Tong.
Da-Tong and surrounding area is a major coal producing area. As we were driving toward the point, we run into many coal mines alone the road, and highway is full of potholes with coal dust flying due to the heavy traffic of coal trucks.
When we reached within 3.5 km from the point, we were in a mining town and had some trouble finding the road going up a hill leading toward the confluence point. After we found a road up, we had to make a large circle to get near, and eventually stopped about 600 meters from the point.
After 200 meters of walking, we came to a steep cliff of eroded dirt hill which is not safe to climb down. We went back to the car and continued the circling and ended up in the parking lot of the Red Star coal mine which put us 400 meters away from the point.
The walk toward the point rerquies the crossing of near the entrance of the coal mine. Afterwards, we went up the northern slop of the valley. By the time we reached 80 meters from the point, we realized that the point was on the southern slop. Very dense tree and bushes made it a real struggle to cross over. Wearing shorts was a big mistake.
40N-113E located at the bottom of next small valley with limited view of surrounding area. Turn out this last 3 km was a big run around, and it took almost 2 hours.
By the time we went through Da-Tong city it was starting to get dark with over 300 km to go. We reached Beijing before midnight.
Two very interesting line hunting excursion in one day made the long drive home extra special.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 3 – the approach by car and by foot were more complicated than usual (Scale: 1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 2– grass and dirt hill almost in the backyard of a coal mine (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 3– coal dust filled mining communities may not be charming but very different than the usual rural farmland (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)