Tuesday

Leaving on a heated train

5 November 2008. Beijing, to Lanzhou, Gansu Province

1525. After a week's restful research in the Institute, I am on the road again.

I am catching a train in an hour or so, heading towards the northwestern province of Gansu. Gansu is at the base of the northeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

After the 19.5 hour train ride, I will arrive in the city of Lanzhou, where I will find a researcher in the Gansu Provincial Museum, who will then accompany me to the fossil-rich area southwest of the city.

The town I am heading to is Hezheng, a small place with a Muslim majority. The daytime high temperature there is supposed to be somewhere around the 40's degree Fahrenheit. I packed the same clothes I used on the Kunlun Mountain Pass, because snow has already arrived at the base of the plateau.

I will spend a little over a week there examining newly discovered fossil hyena skeletons, and accompanying two graduate students to a few geologic outcrops where they are currently working.

I packed my laptop and cross my fingers with the hope that the Hezheng museum will have a functioning internet connection. They already told me they do, but it's rural China and a flash flood could wash the DSL modem away any second.

Westward!

Jack

P.S. I will be thinking about our new president and the future of the world on the train.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's nice that you're able to get out of beijing for a bit and do some field work. . . stay warm!

曾淑玲 said...

Please describe more about the small town.

Goo Goo

Spencer said...

You have this nack for just stumbling over hyena fossils, don't you?