Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

 

 

Today we were blessed with perfect riding weather:  sunshine, interesting clouds, temps ranging from just right to chilly in the mountain passes.

 

Nothing like some “breakfast intestins” to get the day started.  We’ve had fresh vegetables including  sumptuous sauteed mushrooms nearly every morning.

The first stop on our climb was at an overlook of a reservoir.  Curvy roads led us to heights where residual snow has lasted into summer.  In these chilly climes thrive yaks: big, hairy, cow like animals.  Although all the adults appeared to have dark hair, some baby yaks had all white.

 

 

Marco Polo stayed a year in this area. A statue showing him with his camels welcomed us to one small village.

 

 

 

The snow capped peaks extended far above the 12,600′ altitude we experienced.  Fluffy clouds added interest all day.

 

 

 

After descending, we were back in the thick of China’s building boom.  In the middle of seemingly nowhere, cranes were erecting vast expanses of buildings.  Old, overloaded, and underpowered trucks still fill the roads.

 

 

 

Greenhouses with north sides made of clay lined up like 74 rows of soldiers.  Inside, corn plants stood at attention.  Since the weather is now hot, the plastic tops that had protected the young plants are gone, exposing the plants for maximum growth.

 

 

 

We’ve ridden by hundreds of bee hives. Each bee keeper lives in a tent erected near his group of twenty or so hives.  This allows the bee keepers to move their homes wherever and whenever they need to move their bees.

 

 

Juergen, from Germany, showed a look of satisfaction as he arrived at tonight’s hotel.  He joined us for Section 5, Bangkok to Meiming, Austria, to celebrate his 50th birthday.  Wishing you many more memorable birthdays, Juergen.

 

 

Great weather and an early arrival at the hotel prompted us to check out the town.  We shared a bowl of noodles topped with some mystery meat.  I did not know that any paper company made napkins as small and thin as those we were given.

 

 

We woke up the sleeping proprietor of this fruit stand to sell us some apricots.  Seventeen of the juiciest, plumpest, apricots that I’ve ever eaten cost $.55.  After our successful lunch and apricot venture, we decided to be brave come suppertime.  A man tending an outdoor grill had fresh veggies and meat on skewers, ready to sizzle.  Before we could figure out how to tell him to avoid the spices, he dredged our selections in hot pepper sauce.  Time to retreat to the hotel and have our Chinese guides navigate the menu.

 

23 Jun   Xining to Zhange    209 miles

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