TRIP FROM ANKANG to XI'AN (September 10, 2011)

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Today is a dreary day in central China. Rainy, foggy, and cold. But it's been an exciting one for our group. We are now back from data collections in the field (more on that later), and started our trip from Ankang back to Xi'an.

The trip normally takes 3 hours and involves several very long tunnels, including one that is 18km long. They even have plants growing in 3 places in that tunnel! It was raining as we left Ankang, which can make for dangerous driving conditions, but we thought we'd already finished with the worst! We were wrong.

Turns out that our trip through the mountains had loosened up some fittings in the joinings between the axle and the right front tire. I'm not sure if you've ever had that happen, but basically this makes your vehicle swerve and turn almost uncontrollably. So, as we entered our third or so tunnel, we started drifting sideways, and then hit the inside of the tunnel on the right front part of our van.

 Thankfully, the accident was not a bad one, but one that did require repair. All of us are just incredibly thankful the accident didn't happen while we were in the mountains, especially on the twisty, turny road at 5800 feet in elevation!

Today, we are to visit the city wall of Xi'an and relax the rest of the time. Tomorrow, we will visit the Terra Cotta Soldiers and then depart for Beijing. We have all of our samples, so we'll get down to extractions on Monday.


The van.  AFTER it was fixed.  But also imagine this thing going around those mountain roads.  The feeling is really indescribable, and probably personal in nature.  Kathleen might describe that feeling as "sheer terror" where I might describe it as "fun when you don't think about what could happen". 


Our group at the Xi'an City Wall.  Mr. Wong, Mr. Lin (our MOA trip interpreter), Bill, Kathleen, Katie, Andy, Amelia, and me.

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This page contains a single entry by SARA FITZSIMMONS published on September 11, 2011 10:02 AM.

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE WE ARE GOING? - Collections of ban li (September 9, 2011) was the previous entry in this blog.

THE FIRST DAY IN THE LAB - September 12 is the next entry in this blog.

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