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China

It is a long hard climb out of the Salween valley. We left on March 24 and all day crawled up the steep sides on a trail which doubled back and forth upon itself like an endless letter S. From our camp at night the river was just visible as a thin green line several thousand feet below, and for the first time in days, we needed a charcoal fire in our tents.

Y.B.A.

Three days after leaving Shanghai we arrived at Pagoda Anchorage at the mouth of the Min River, twelve miles from Foochow.

We boarded a launch which threaded its way through a fleet of picturesque fishing vessels, each one of which had a round black and white eye painted on its crescent-shaped bow. When asked the reason for this decoration a Chinese on the launch looked at us rather pityingly for a moment and then said: "No have eye. No can see." How simple and how entirely satisfactory!

In mid-November we left the White Water with a caravan of twenty-six mules and horses. Following the road from Li-chiang to the Yangtze, we crossed the "Black Water" and climbed steadily upward over several tremendous wooded ridges, each higher than the last, to the summit of the divide.

After a week on the pass above Ho-mu-shu we shifted camp to a village called Tai-ping-pu, ten miles nearer Teng-yueh on the same road. The ride along the summit of the mountain was a delight, for we passed through grove after grove of rhododendrons in full blossom. The trees were sometimes thirty feet in height and the red flowers glowed like clusters of living coals among their dark green leaves. In the northern part of Yuen-nan the rhododendrons grow above other timber line on mountains where it is too high even for spruces.

A few days after our arrival in Yen-ping we went with Mr. Caldwell and his son Oliver to a Taoist temple seven miles away in a lonely ravine known as Chi-yuen-kang. The walk to the temple in the early morning was delightful. The "bamboo chickens" and francolins were calling all about us and on the way we shot enough for our first day's dinner. Both these birds are abundant in Fukien Province but it is by no means easy to kill them for they live in such thick cover that they can only be flushed with difficulty.

We left the Taku ferry by way of a steep trail through an open pine and spruce forest along the rim of the Yangtze gorge where the view was magnificent. Someone has said that when a tourist sees the Grand Canon for the first time he gasps "Indescribable" and then immediately begins to describe it. Thus it was with us, but no words can picture the grandeur of this titanic chasm.

A few months previous to our arrival, Mr. Abertsen had discovered a splendid hunting ground near the village of Hui-yao, about eighty li from Teng-yueh. He had been shooting rabbits and pheasants and, while passing through the village, the natives told him that a large herd of gnai-yang or "wild goats" lived on the side of a hill through which a branch of the Shweli River had cut a deep gorge.

On Sunday, June 18, we went to the bat cave to obtain a new supply of specimens. Upon our return, just as we were about to sit down to luncheon, four excited Chinese appeared with the following letter from Mr. Caldwell:

    DEAR ROY:

Since the hunters at the "Windy Camp" had proved so worthless and the traps had yielded no small mammals new to our collection, we decided to cross the mountains toward the Chung-tien road which leads into Tibet.

The head mafu explored the trail and reported that it was impassable but, after an examination of some of the worst barriers, we decided that they could be cleared away and ordered the caravan to start at half past seven in the morning.

We had a delightful visit from Mr. Grierson during our first week in camp. He rode out on Thursday afternoon and remained until Sunday, bringing us mail, war news, and fresh vegetables, and returning with goral meat for all the foreigners in Teng-yueh. On the afternoon of his visit I had killed three monkeys which represented a different species from any we had obtained before. They were the Indian baboon ( Macacus rhesus) and were probably like those of the Salween River at Changlung.

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