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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
14 Oct 2000

    Geography
  • China
    Yunnan
    Locality
  • Shangri-La County; Zhongdian
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.83068   99.70553
    Geography
  • China
    Yunnan
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 28.19904   98.98336
    Recording TimeCode
  • 46:51 - 49:00
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note

Show: YGRP
Log of DAT #: 5
Engineer: McQuay
Date: October 2000

ng = not good
ok = okay
g = good
vg = very good

CHINESE NAMES WRITTEN AS PRONOUNCERS

BANQUET AT HOTEL

:57 - 2:04 Americans sing "This Land was Made for You and Me" replace U.S. locations with Chinese locations.

:57 - 1:21 watch beeping under singing.

@ 1:34 they sing two of the changed locations @ 1:38 people in the crowd laugh.

@ 1:40 again, they change the locations to Chinese spots @ 1:44 laughter (BETTER)

1:47: song end and then (VERY LOUD) cheering that fades into room conversation.2:04

44:52 - 46:29 Americans start singing "She'll be Coming Round the Mountain.". @ 45:21 someone says "Ye-haw" and everyone laughs. Better singing from 45:30 on. Ends with applause 46:34

DEQIN STANDUP
(crowd ambi under all)

Joyce 47:20 Deqin, 10,500 feet. The town is mostly Tibetan and Buddhist. It's the last waystation for pilgrims on their way to the sacred mountain called KHEW-ah-GAH-bow. If the Yunnan great rivers project becomes a reality, Deqin will become the gateway. 47:35

(McQay advises Joyce to do it again, less newsy. New ambi, banging under Joyce's read)

Joyce 47:41 Deqin, 10,500 feet. The town is mostly Tibetan and Buddhist. It's the last waystation for pilgrims on their way to the sacred mountain called KHEW-ah-GAH-bow. If the Yunnan great rivers project becomes a reality, Deqin will become the gateway. 47:57

(McQay advises Joyce to try it again. Banging less pronounced.)

Joyce 48:04 Deqin, 10,500 feet. The town is mostly Tibetan and Buddhist. It's the last waystation for pilgrims on their way to the sacred mountain called KHEW-ah-GAH-bow. If the Yunnan great rivers project becomes a reality, Deqin will become the gateway. 48:20

(McQay says better but one more)

Joyce 48:26 Deqin, 10,500 feet. The town is mostly Tibetan and Buddhist. It's the last waystation (stops and starts again) 48:35

Joyce 48:35 Deqin, 10,500 feet. The town is mainly Tibetan and Buddhist. It's the last waystation for pilgrims on their way to the sacred mountain called KHEW-ah-GAH-bow. If the Yunnan great rivers project becomes a reality, Deqin will become the gateway. 48:50

INTERVIEW WITH BOB
(Bells / crickets in background)

Joyce 1:03:23 (ambi of map unfolding) So this is what (:02 map ambi) what are we looking at 1:03:29

Bob 1:03:30 This is a map created with satellite imagery, LANDSAT imagery. Of the immediate study area here. Going east slope of the MAY-lee snow range. And (map unfolding again) we drove from DOO-chin this morning, around the corner, down into the MAY-khong valley. 1:03:55

Joyce 1:03:55 So this is the high pass right here that we went up 1:03:56

Bob 1:03:58 Right we sort of traversed around the valley 1:04:00

Joyce 1:04:00 How high is that pass 1:04:02

Bob 1:04:02 Its about 3,600 meters 1:04:04

Joyce 1:04:05 so you're talking 14-thousand feet or so 1:04:06

Bob 1:04:07 actually more like, it's 12-thousand, almost 13 thousand feet. And then we dropped into the MAY-khong river canon from there. Came down to this village here called POO-chin, where that big, huge grove of cedar trees was. (Joyce says Mmm-Hmm,) There was a small temple there, (ambi note: conversation in Chinese can be heard under Bob/Joyce) and the villagers have been protecting that beautiful stand of cedar and we crossed the bridge right there and we came down the MAY-kohng river ah, around this corner through SHE-dawn, then up this drainage and we're right about here. 1:04:49

Joyce 1:04:50 The drainage is, this is basically where the water flows down from this particular watershed. 1:04:54

Bob 1:04:55 right, yes. And into the MAY-khong river, which is about 600 meters below us. We're here at 2600 meters, and this road turns into a trail here and we'll traverse that and around this ridge. And then keep traversing along side the mountain. And then go over about a 3700 meter pass so, um, about 12,800 feet. And then traverse down into the upper village of yuh-VOHNG, and then go a little ways down valley to the lower village where we'll be staying for the week. And it sits, as you can see (sound of map) it sits in a side drainage that sits below all these 20,000 foot peaks, with lots of glaciers hanging up above 10. 1:05:50

Joyce 1:05:51 and this looks like a glacier coming down here. And here's another glacier. 1:05:54

Bob 1:05:54 Actually, yeah, this is, some of this is snow because this scene was taken from the winter time. So some of this is snow and some is glacier. So this outer stuff here, near this white area, is actually snow. (talking ambi significantly louder now. Competing with interview.) The glaciers tend to be smoother looking. Like Drew-bin here is a huge glacier below KHEW-ah-GAH-bow peak, the highest peak, it's a huge glacial ice field. 1:06:24

Joyce 1:06:25 so that's KHEW-ah-GAH-bow, that's the sacred mountain that pilgrims make their circum-emulation 1:06:28

Bob 1:06:29 Correct. 6,700 meters, its about 22,300 feet or so. 1:06:35

Joyce 1:06:36 Hmmm, I think we saw some pilgrims on the road coming over, 1:06:38

Bob 1:06:38. That's right. Yes. 1:06:39

Joyce 1:06:40 and yew-bohng, or oo-bong is the pronunciation of, uh, oo-bohng seems to be the last inhabited place for, uh, well as far as this direction goes. It's the last one before the mountains. 1:06:51

Bob 1:06:52 Right, most of the villages in this part of Yunnan are right along the MAY-khong river. yew-bohng is one of the few in the KHEW-ah-GAH-bow area that is actually up in the valley. Along the river, or, uh, away from the river. Most of these are in sort of a very aired zone right along the river. And yew-bohng is, yes, its right up along the mountains. I think its right about 10,000 feet. 3,000 meters is where we'll end up eventually. And actually this is a "g", yew-bohng 1:07:30

Joyce 1:07:31 OK, it looks like the horses are starting off, so I think we better go. We better make sure everything's on the horses. (sound of map being folded) 1:07:38


INTERVIEW WITH BOB ON TRAIL TO YUBONG.

Joyce 1:30:34 So, you were pointing out the trees around us. Its suddenly gotten a lot greener. 1:30:37

Bob 1:30:38 yeah, correct. And you would recognize a lot of these from relatives in North America, especially eastern North America. This I think is a walnut, but there's an aspen, a birch, maple, dogwood, spruce, pine. An evergreen oak, which is a live oak. Many species of that, so its many of the same genua, uh, that we find in, especially eastern North America. As well as some elements that are very much Asian and some subtropical since we're right on the boundary between a temperate and subtropical ecosystems. And so that mix right near this boundary we're at, creates an enormous amount of diversity here. 1:31:32

Joyce 1:31:34 OK, thanks. 1:31:37

CJ - 1:41:30 tell me high high - how much we have reached¿..

1:41:42 BM - well, we crest the Mekong River at about 7 thousand feet and it is kind of a sub-tropical vegetation and drove up to oh - I don't know, maybe 8,000 9,000 feet just at the lower edge of the coniferous forest with the broadleaf trees mixed in. and then we got up and hiked up here to a little over 12 thousand feet and we are in a typical high elevation coniferous forest for this part of the world. And here in the Himalayas the forest actually goes much higher than - to almost to 14 thousand feet. We are here with sort of an interesting forest of fur which I am used to from my state of Idaho. But what is interesting here is that it is mixed in with these big oak trees. Up even at this elevation - there is a big large - a big nice understory of these tree-like Rhododendrons. 1:42:52 stop down bc singing in bg
1:42:52 GREAT singing in bg - with people talking too

1:43:56 BM - there are these tree-like Rhododendrons in the understory -

CJ - tree-like - you mean they are as big as trees?

1:44:00 BM - yeah, small trees. Obviously kind of in the lower canopy of the forest,and they are spectacular in the spring. They have huge pink blossoms in late may in this elevation

CJ - and this is where Rododendrons came from originally.

1:44:17BM - Correct. This is the center of diversity for Rododendrons.\

CJ - Center of diversity meaning?

BM - There is more Rodod. Species in this part of the world then anywhere else. This - our project here in NW Yunnan is a quarter of the state of idaho, where I am from and there is total of 160 - 170 species of Rhodod in that relatively small area. That is a phenomenally small number. And it is awesome to drive around here in the spring, to see all the new rhodos around ever bend - diff color flowers, different hights. Some are the azalea type rhodos and others are the tree-like ones. 1:45:01

1:45:02 CJ - Camelia and azela came from here too, didn't they?

1:45:05 BM - camelia, and this is also the center of primrose, another important horticultural genus that is known around the world. There is probably 120 species of primrose in this area. Similarly, the spring time is an amazing time to walk around here. 1:45:24

1:45;25 CJ - and when you say the center of diversity there are more species - do you draw form that the - this being the center of diversity, does that mean this is where rhodod first appeared on the map?

BM - not necessarily, but what it does mean is that this is where they are speciated the most, but sort of evolved into new species. Whether or not they actually originated here in evolutionary time is really not known, but certainly this is the place that they filled various - all the diff habitats that occur around here.

1:46;12 CJ - And what gives this forest sort of the fairy-tale feel is this - all the trees are draped with lichen.

1:46:19BM - yeah, well if you noticed when we came up the lichen got thicker and thicker on the trees, and we are getting closer and closer to the high peeks which are behind us now at 20 thousand or more feet and the clouds hang around those peeks for a long time. And as we came higher there is more and more moisture, more clouds moving over these ridges, and of course the lichens get their moisture from the atmosphere, from rain and the clouds and humidity, and yeah, they are really draping heavily on the branches now

1:4658 CJ - now behind us we have a whole range of peeks - some with snow, some without - that looks like a glacier up there

1:47:09 BM - yeah the clouds are hanging out on the highest summit, so ones we are seeing in front - these jagged ones - are actually the 4 peaks - sort of the smaller peaks in front of the main high glaciated peaks. Yeah we are seeing the lower edges of the high peaks that come off Mein-sa-moo which is the goddess of this mountain range, the wife of Kawagabo, who is considered the god by Tibetans, which is the highest peak in the range - to the north here, a couple of kilometers.

1:47;41 CJ - and the pilgrims make their way around this whole range?

1:47;46BM - around this entire range. There is actually - in the core of the range the peaks are too jagged and there is too much ice and snow and there is no passage and there is no place for them to go. But the first pass to the south and the first pass to the north are where they go over in their pilgrimage route and of course they circumambulate the entire range on those routes in a clockwise fashion. So they start on the southend and go into Tibet which is right over the peaks here. And then north along the Nujong river and then over another pass and come back into the Mekong River in Yunnan and then down to where they started 1:48:28

CJ - should we get going?

1:48:50 CJ- if you feel comfortable talking about Buddhism - what is accomplished by circumnavigating around this mtn range?

1:48:58 - BM - yea - I can't talk about it - but what I will say is that the reason for doing these circumnavigations, and there is actually 2 routes that - 2 pilgrimage routes - there is a short version kind of what they call the inner loop and then there is this outer loop. And the inner loop takes 3 or 4 days and the outer loop takes anywhere btwn and half a month and a full month, depending on snow and conditions and fitness of course of the pilgrims but in doing that they accumulate merit, I suppose, for reincarnation in a future life, and so that is why they make these pilgrimages all the way from northern parts of the Tibetan region and Chinghigh province and Gongsu, and Sitchuan, and other places all around. The Tibetan area - they come here in the fall to do this, and they do that with all the sacred peaks. 1:50:14

ambi in area

Subjects 2-7 recorded at Location 2.

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