my name is spike. from louisiana, now i live in mongolia. i try to take pictures and stuff.

Next day was back on the highway (this time with ample backup gas). About halfway between Mandalgovi and Ulaanbaatar we took a ~40 km detour west off of the highway

eventually made it to Ikh Gazriin Chuluu (“Big Earthly Rock” or something), a large mountain or elevated series of rock formations with this horizontal formation

the next day was supposed to be a quick stop in Dalanzadgad then highway all the way back home. it wasn’t.

after about 100 feet of asphalt out of Dalanzadgad, there was a 180 km construction zone … by the time we finally got to asphalt it was around 3 in the afternoon. gassed up and pressed on. PERGE!

in estimating the gas we would need, we forgot to consider that we were riding straight into the gobi wind … not that it really mattered. in a particularly long stretch (we had filled up before leaving), we found ourselves out of gas before finding another town. after using the gas in our water bottles we hoped to make it to Mandalgovi … 

about a kilometer outside of the city, Will ran out of gas again. i puttered up to the top of the next hill and saw the city, and coasted in to the first gas station in a full tuck. i had left the water bottles with will, so i zipped into town to find a water bottle. after promptly dumping it out in front of the store (to the confusion of the other patrons) and filling up the water bottle at the gas station (to the confusion of the gas guy), i went back out into the (now) cold night to find will. 

will was pushin his bike along with a nice person behind him who was lighting the way with his car. we filled up his bike a little, and with a little rolling start he woke the yamaha beast.

by the time we rolled into mandalgovi, will was ready to splurge for any hotel room, and we found exactly one hotel (later saw others). this was the curtain for the window in the Gobi Hotel … what a beautiful, natural scene.

  The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept …
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

our camp spot. i didn’t get a picture of him, but while we were setting up we saw a mongolian guy ride to the top of the nearest hill. he pulled out some binoculars and looked out to the desert toward what we only assumed was a mining camp  … he seemed to swear angrily at it before turning to leave.

as he turned, though, he saw us … and out came the binoculars again … he came down to say hey. we gave him a snickers (which was hard for him to eat with his one tooth) and he offered to let us stay in his ger during the winter. he said it would snow the next morning.

we had been hearing about the snow every day and had yet to see any, though, so we decided to stay out.

after leaving the valley we rode out near where we expected to find the highway to Dalanzadgad. we found a shallow depression in the last foothills of Gurvan Saikhan before the open desert, so desided to post up where we could get a little shelter from the wind.

this was how we hid our bikes … 

a picture taken further in Yolyn Am (the ice valley of mongolia). steep walls and a long valley. these were a couple of other tourists who had made the early trip to Mongolia and stopped at Yolyn Am … some of the only tourists that we met.

view in high res!