Always, it seems that it was the mountain mornings and its still clear cold that would offer up moments and characters along our journey. The body wouldn’t yet be entirely functional and the brain wouldn’t be clever, which is precisely when the senses might be at their most sensitive and ready.
Tea’d up we headed west with our packs with none of us speaking much west of Litang in Sichuan's far west. Towards Batang and Dzogong we moved in a morning chill that stills all things. Mornings for us offered up a time to warm up, find strength, and reflect. A little orange hat was walking solitary behind a herd of yak upon a permafrost grassland, taking her animals higher. The hat was atop a young nomadic girl and with her she had a small bit of food, a stick, a sling, and a smile for a day of grazing. Caravans along the Tea Horse Road would access nomadic enclaves as well as the market centres and that included small nomadic communities of tents to barter and gather supplies. On this morning of brittle air, little Lhakpa was the sun itself.