Back to Ankang and on to Xi'an

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After a night in Lan Gao, our group would head back to Ankang for lunch (I really don't think we could have eaten any more food) and then head on out to Xi'an.

Before we left the Lan Gao area, we would make one last stop to look at some chestnut trees.  This site would again be on very steep slopes but this time would primarily have Castanea mollissima.  We could not confirm whether these trees were wild or naturalized, but they were likely not planted.

We spent less than an hour at the site so that we could get back to Ankang on time.  Xi'an is a 5 hour - at least - drive from Ankang, so we wanted to leave shortly after lunch.  We were making pretty good time, but the roads were very twisty and turny - it took us quite some time to get onto the road that's much like a Turnpike.  We did have to stop to get gas before we got on the major Road.  And Fred needed a Slim Jim and a Coke.  The Coke was there, but he had to settle for a bag of Chinese crackers.

Most of us took little naps - it had been a long trip.  But after about 2 hours, we were stopped by a police blockade.  We were about the 4th or 5th vehicle to be stopped.  Thankfully, we were stopped right by a rest area.  We learned traffic was stopped because of a bad accident in a tunnel a few miles up the road.  Turns out there were several very long tunnels up ahead.  So, we stayed there for about 3 hours while the accident was cleared.

It wasn't such a bad time, actually.  What was refreshing about this wait is that everyone around us seemed to be taking the delay in stride.  A snack stand, complete with drinks and snacks (including two types of chicken feet), opened up outside the rest area.  The folks beside us whipped out some moon cakes, pears, and started playing cards.  Most people milled about outside their cars chatting.  Noone seemed upset.  What a different scene I would suspect we would see in the US.

Fred pondered if his extra stop to get a drink and snack saved us from an accident.  You never know . . .


Measuring Castanea mollissima at forest plot in Bashan mountains.  Having climbed down to this tree, I can tell you the slope was pretty darn steep, the steepest I'd went down so far.  I think Kim and Songlin measured it at 93%.  I had on my boots.  Mr. Liao, to my right, was wearing loafers.  I am not kidding.  They were pretty nice shoes.  It looked like he hardly even got them dirty.


Not the most flattering pose, but we all got in a nap or two during the duration of our trip, espeically going from Ankang to Xi'an.


The group waits for the traffic jam to clear up.


A magical bottle of Coke and Chinese crackers???  At least we got stopped next to a rest stop and not in the middle of nowhere next to an 8km long tunnel on up the road.  We'll give the snacks at least this special citation for their possible role in keeping us comfortable, if not safe and alive.

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This page contains a single entry by SARA FITZSIMMONS published on October 13, 2008 12:46 PM.

Nan Gongshan National Park - Wild ban li! was the previous entry in this blog.

Going Back Again is the next entry in this blog.

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