4. Northern Tajikistan

Map of passage Turned Cropped

The Skewer of Gold, the Zarafshon River, is long and straight. Fed by the melting Fredrenko Glacier in the east and arriving at fabled Samarkand, 350 miles later in the west. Most of the way it flows in a deep gorge of its own making wedged securely between two mountain ranges. The slopes are dry and barren.

It’s a crazy idea! A 350 mile hike? No way. Maybe on a mountain bike. No. A kayak? That might be possible at the right time of year. There might be a two week window when it wasn’t too swollen with melt water or too dry with rocks. There’s a single road the entire distance with small villages at regular intervals and little else. After the first hundred miles, the scenery gets monotonous.

It’d be an arduous undertaking.

There’s a gold mine somewhere along the way.


Excerpt from Lenin’s Arm

I need another escape or a vacation. No, I need more than that. I need new culture because this one is too confusing, too complex. I need a real, longer lasting escape.

   If I said this aloud, people would be thinking, “This guy has problems.” I know I do.




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