D49: 瓮安→猴场 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

October 21, 2020

D49: 瓮安→猴场

I thought I was heading to Goupitan [够皮滩] today. I changed my mind about 17 bajillion times on whether or not I was taking the same road up to Zunyi [遵义] as I took down from Zunyi in 2012 and eventually settled on a strong "maybe" with me making my decision at the intersection at Yinzhan [银盏] Town. But I was pretty sure, on the basis of the topo map and the available lodging that I was going to pick Goupitan over Jiangjiehe [江界河].

Instead, of going north by northeast (Jiangjiehe) or north by west northwest (Goupitan) the way I was supposed to be doing, I instead went northwest. To Houchang.

Because, despite my long long ago decision to never go to a tourism site with a sign telling me "go here" posted more than 3 kilometers away from the site, there was a mention of a museum and I'm a sucker for museums.

I think there were actually 5 or 6 museums but only 2 of them were open. As for the others, I question whether or not they'd ever even been opened. One of them, the Weng'An County Museum, had a paper "this door has been sealed" strip across the door. The paper was torn, showing that the door had been opened at some point since it was sealed in 2017, but no one had bothered to finish peeling the paper off after unsealing the door. Short of still having a seal on it, that's about as not currently open as you can get.

Both the Chinese Military Uniforms Museum and the Houchang Conference Site Memorial Hall made me put a face mask on in addition to taking my temperature. First time I've had a mask on since getting off the train from Guangzhou. I'm going to have to find an excuse to ask a friend if my breath smells bad or if that's just what breath smells like when you are forced to smell it. 

The military uniforms museum did a surprisingly good job of staying on topic. Only one or two sections were dedicated to local history that probably ought to be somewhere else (like perhaps the Weng'An County Museum). I discovered that the Someone Famous whose Ancestral Home I skipped visiting in 2012 because "it's sure to be closed, those things are always closed" and skipped visiting again this time because it was after dark by the time I passed the turn-off used to be a Boy Scout Leader. I can't say as I've know which scouting book was the source for the Chinese language one that was in the display of Relevant Relics but the teepee and the Baden-Powell hats on the cover illustration make it pretty damn obvious that it's was BSA.

The conference site museum was a fairly standard Very Patriotic Museum on the topic of the Long March. Learned a bit more about the Long March in this specific region of China but other than dates and battles and routes and the exact details of local folk tales, it wasn't all that different from any other Long March Museum. The attached conference site, with its displays of scavenged period era furniture, took less time to go through but was actually more interesting.

All options for lodging meant that I'd absolutely be riding well after dark so I got dinner in town at the closest restaurant to where I initially thought I was going to be staying. Didn't think I'd been running that much of a calorie deficit today since mostly all I'd done was walking but my skin broke out in goosebumps of pleasure when I started eating the fatty pork belly that was part of my meal.

The place I thought I was going to stay was one of those where the front desk is on the second floor so I kept looking and ended up maybe another kilometer down the road with some awfully pleasant people who not only let me behind the front desk to register myself without any complaint, also were totally cool with my taking video and posting a tutorial on Chinese TikTok.

Today's ride: 25 km (16 miles)
Total: 2,453 km (1,523 miles)

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