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You are here: Home > China 2005 > Road of Hell
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The Road
This was a road through China's agricultural land made fertile by the neighboring Yellow River.  In the first part of this journey there were caves houses with people living in them dug into the enormous thickness of yellow earth that accumulated over the centuries from the flooding of the river.  I wish we had more time to examine them close at hand.

Many small and medium sized industries dotted the landscape and influenced it strongly through the need for motorized transportation.  Unlike in the West where the garbage of civilization is always out of sight, here it was constantly in our face and on the side of the road because the fertile land couldn't be wasted and had to be reserved for growing food.  This extreme contrast gave us the strong impression that modern society was taking over the natural world much like a degenerative disease.

This picture is of the bridge over the Yellow River from Wenjiang, where we stayed while visiting Chen and Zhaobao Villages.  At first I was overwhelmed by the number and siaxe of the gas stations, which appeared every few minutes.  They were extremely large, but largely empty of both customers and workers as if they were expecting a boom of business to come in the future.  Nevertheless, their emptiness gave me the impression that they were a ghost town in the vast agricultural area surrounding them.

The restaurants in this area were extremely primative.  By the looks of them in the pictures you can see why I finally made the rule that for us to eat in any of them, they at least had to have a door.

The agriculture in the first part of this trip was comprised mostly of wheat, corn, and soybeans.  Later, as we neared Wudang Mountain, the fields were planted in rice.  Here, the quality of life for the peasants seemed much superior.  I imagined this had to do with the superiority of rice over other grains.

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