Thanks for all the healing thoughts from everyone! We just reached Ulaangom, after another welding of Tyler's trailer in a coal mining town. It is now reinforced with extra steel and looks very frankensteinish.
The road we took to Ulaangom went over one pass at 2800m, which the book described as requiring "yeti lungs" to complete. It was grueling, and was also in a hail storm for part of it. On the top of the passes are ovoos, shamanistic offerings, piles of stones with sacred scarves and incense, horse skulls, money, food, and always lots of empty vodka bottles. After placing your rock, or offering, on the stone pile, you make a wish and walk around the pile 3 times. It feels pretty cool, to be in these remote places, with blue scarves blowing in the wind, surrounded by an immense landscape. Sometimes a car or truck comes by, people offer fermented mares milk, to us as well, then get back in their car and drive off, blaring their Asian pop music.
The landscape we rode through was some of the most stunning i have ever seen. So massive. We camped by one lake that was huge, surrounded by 3000m peaks, and in this huge valley. The whole evening and morning we were there we saw 2 vehicles far off in the distance. We squinted, trying to discern if that was in fact the road we planned to be on. We rode up these amazing valleys, stayed with some herders, drank tea with others, and saw some ancient burial mounds and rocks carved in the shapes of people! Sometimes, you could just look around and not see anything except for grass mountains and valleys stretched out before you. We even saw Bactrian camels!
Camera issues continue. Lesson learned- bring 2 cameras on a big trip.
Onward, next big stop, Moron. Really.
Love to all, Adrianne and Tyler