As I hinted at in a previous post, I dream of going to Mongolia. As best I can recall, I fell for Mongolia (or at least something resembling Mongolia) at first sight. It at a Russian Cinema Club meeting when we watched a film with a name I long ago forgot. The expanse of the place stuck me. I had already lived in the great American West and experienced its vastness. During my summer in Elko, Nevada wide open spaces had marked my soul. But in the northern Asian lands of the film, the expansive vastness was green rather than the sages and taupes of the Great Basin.
Over time I more or less forgot Mongolia. Plans to cross Eurasia on the Trans-Siberian railway dissolved. My focuses turned stateside. The steppe was at my back. I don’t know exactly when or where, but sometime in the past year or so I came up with the idea to run across Mongolia. I’d seen some pictures in recent years and I was reminded of it beauty. I also felt that with the traditional nomadism of its people made it a natural place to experience on foot.
While I would love to cross Mongolia on foot at some point, I am also looking into more practical options as well. So far I’ve found one race, the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100k. It looks like it would b a fun enough race that would leave time to explore the country as a proper tourist. It might fit in this year if it were a week earlier, but it might be a bit too close to the Vermont 100. An even more exciting option is la transmongolie. Despite the name, one does not transit Mongolia entirely, rather its is a loop course. Who cares that the event/tour/ridiculousness appears to be put on by and entirely populated by French folk? Not me. I can get by not knowing little more French than “which direction,” “how far,” “more food, please” “more water, please,” and “yes, I would like to ride his yak.” However, can someone give me a good translation of “marche.” The best translation I get is “go,” which doesn’t help as “marche” is given as an alternative to “course a pied.” Okay, upon further review I think I may have figured out that one can either bicycle, run, or walk each of the days with the course being a different length depending on your choice of transportation that day.