I saw some of the most spectacular landscape in this area. The Qilian Mountains, a range that went up to over 11,000 feet, snow capped in the distance. The terrain went from lush to desert like. There is a great effort to stop the erosion of the mountains with reforestation. This is happening all over China, but is particularly critical to this range.
Our group leader, Ichi Hsu is pictured below at stop in the Qilian Mountains. Others in our group are also pictured as they admire the view.
We took the Jiayuguan pass to the Great Wall. Oh, not the Great Wall you expect. I learned there are two great walls. This one, with its fort, was built in the Ming Dynasty. There has been a good deal of restoration to this wall and it is now a sort of living museum, displaying how the soldiers and their families lived at the fort and protected the wall from the armies of Central Asia.