22-Jul-2012 -- This is the 13th out of 20 confluence points that I reached on a bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The narrative of the trip starts from 41°N 117°E.
In the morning I started cycling in the nearby city Kèshān (克山县). It had rained all night, but rain stopped when I hit the road at 5:30 AM. I took the main road to the city Běiān (北安县) and came as close as 1.2 km to the confluence point on this nice asphalt road. But the problem was how to overcome this last kilometer. The agricultural tracks didn’t look inviting for a joy ride after the rain. So I rode a little further and found a mud-free road made of concrete-slabs. But it didn’t come closer than 1 km either. So I went back and tried one of those muddy tracks. I wish I had left my bicycle at the main road and just walked to the CP. The track turned out to be a “mud-collector” similar to a snowball that gets thicker and thicker by spinning it on the ground. Soon, my wheels wouldn’t turn at all, because the mud got stuck between the wheels and the mudguards.
Finally I reached the confluence point – just 40 m from one of those muddy tracks. Interestingly, the exact location is in the middle of an avenue with four rows of pope trees. These fast growing trees are planted to break the wind that can be strong in the flat areas. The particular avenue of pope trees divides two corn fields.
When I reached Kèdōng (克东县), some nice women felt pity for me, riding with such a dirty bike. So they took the initiative and cleaned my bike!
I continued eastwards thinking that I should easily be able to visit one more confluence point on the same day. But if I had known what would come up, I probably wouldn’t have attempted another confluence on that day.
CP visit details:
- Distance to an asphalt (or concrete) road: 1200 m
- Distance to a track: 45 m
- Distance to a footpath: 45 m
- Duration of the hike to reach the CP: 1 minute
- Distance of bicycle parking: 40 m
- Distance to houses: 850 m
- Time at the CP: 7:12 AM
- Measured height: 239 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: pope trees, corn, soybeans, grass
- Weather: overcast, 23° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Muddy Pope Tree Avenue Confluence
Story continues at 48°N 127°E.