One of the high points of my China trip came yesterday when three of us hiked up the White Dragon River to Namo Gorge, which then widened out to this delightful meadow. 

We started at the town of Langmusi in the mountainous southern part of Gansu province, right on the border with Sichuan province.  This region is full of Tibetans and Uighurs as well as Han Chinese.  Rolling grassy hills are dotted with small houses, tents, herds of sheep and yaks... but when you go south to the border, mountains jut up, the altitude soars to 3300 meters (11,000 feet), and the land becomes covered with pine trees.  

Langmusi has some nice Tibetan temples, but there's a stream running through town - the White Dragon River - and if you keep walking upstream you'll reach some fields where novice monks play soccer and study their textbooks in the fields.  Keep going upstream and you'll find a place where they bathe.  Keep going upstream a bit more and you're in Namo Gorge.  For a little while you'll have to walk on small rocks in the stream.  Then it gets easier, and in 20 minutes you'll reach a realm of bushes... then turn right and you'll find this meadow!

One of the low points of the trip came when we discovered that Langmusi was divided in two parts - part in Gansu and part in Sichuan - and our hotel was in the Sichuan part, where the electricity was out.  Then we found out the hotel was full, and our guide, without asking, had packed us in by assigning us roommates.  So, I shared an unlit room with a guy I didn't know too well.  And he snored.  But without some stuff like this, it wouldn't be an adventure

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