National Geographic : 1944 Jun
Exploring a Grass Wonderland of Wild West China Kangting's Women Porters Carry Heavy Bales of Wool over Two Miles of Rugged Trails to the Highway First washed and dried, the wool then is baled and wrapped in ramie-fiber sacking at the Kangting scouring plant (page 730). Wheeled carts cannot reach the plant, so human porters must go to them. The carts then trundle the wool to the distributing center of Yaan. severe storms. Tall cactus is everywhere; bunch grasses replace the sod-forming grasses of areas of greater rainfall. Roasted Walnut Kernels with Molasses Ancient walnut trees grow well up on the valley sides or under irrigation near the val ley floor. Shelled English-type walnuts were cheaper than peanuts. Walnut oil is cheaper than rapeseed oil, since the latter can be used for the oil lamps. We all enjoyed the cheapest dish on the table, roasted walnut kernels with molasses syrup. One of the oldest chain suspension bridges in West China crosses the Tung River at this place. Here we first saw Tibetans. Just across the bridge on the west was the first lamasery, but it had a Chinese roof (page 719). We saw our first Tibetan cara van of mules outbound for loads of tea. The three muleteers were huddled together boiling red tea over a dispirited fire fanned by the goatleg-skin bellows all Tibetans carry. Automobiles are still new to this valley, as indicated by runaway mules and horses, terri fied children stampeding from the road, and by the immediate suspension of all farm work as we passed by.