Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Appalachian Mountains are the backbone of the eastern United States. Together with the Rocky Mountains, the two mountain ridges, one in the east and the other in the west, can be imagined to prop up North America.
The Appalachian Mountains were the collective name for an extensive mountain range in eastern North America, also known as the Appalachian Highlands.
Li Du flipped open the map of the mountainous region – it was a huge map. Godzilla’s entire arm span was barely enough to touch both edges of the map.
“This map is really big,” Lu Guan marveled. “Godzilla, your arms are so short. No wonder your coach told you that you can’t be good at basketball. Hahaha, you’re two meters tall but how long are your arms? You’d expect them to be longer, right?”
Godzilla pulled a face. “Scram or I’ll beat you up!”
Li Du examined the map. The mountain range stretched from Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada to the eastern part of the United States and south to the central part of Alabama. The whole range had a total length of nearly 3,200 kilometers.
Previously, the mountains had a nice nickname, ‘Mother of America’. The British had given the mountain range that name.
The first thirteen colonies in the US were built in the narrow strip of New Hampshire in the eastern region of the Appalachian Mountains, south to Georgia. Due to the formation of a natural barrier between the eastern coastal zone and the vast lowlands of the mainland, the colonization and development of the mainland played a vital role.
That has become a thing of the past. From Cleveland all the way to Pittsburgh, the two cities were not far apart. It was only an hour’s drive for Li Du.
Pittsburgh was at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, which was the starting point for the Blue Ridge section of the mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains area was big and wide. Not even taking into account the Canadian part, it was a vast region.
There was Mount Katahdin in Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Mountain Greene in Vermont. The mountains extended from Greene to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York, where they subsided into elevations known as Berkshire Hills…
Looking at the central region, there were the Catskill Mountains in New York, the Blue Ridge in southern Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny Mountains which extended from New York State to western Maryland, western Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny Mountains in eastern Ohio.
As for the south, the mountains of West Virginia were called the Allegheny Mountains; the mountains of Virginia, Western Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were part of the Blue Ridge…
Not only that, there was Mount Yucca in Virginia, as well as the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, and the Cumberland Plateau that extended from eastern Kentucky to northern Alabama…
Looking at the huge map, Li Du’s eyes blurred. He said in awe, “D*mn, these mountains are almost endless. It will be all too easy to get lost.”
Brother Wolf came over for a look and said, “It’s easy. With this map and compass, we won’t lose our way. Besides, we also have the GPS locator. Don’t worry, boss, leave the routing to me.”
After preparing their daily necessities, they got ready to set off.
Their expedition to the mountains would take some time. Li Du estimated it would take at least one week. Hence, they prepared a huge amount of necessities and ammunition for their weapons. Of course, the heavy-duty weapons and bullets were all kept in the Black Hole.
Although the Black Hole was already stuffed full, every one of them still had to carry a bag or two.
Even Ah Ow and Ah Bai did their part. Ah Ow was laden with two small bags, while Ah Bai carried another two satchels, one on each side. He looked just a miniature Red Army soldier.
The Appalachian Mountains extended far and wide. They were not known for their high peaks but were famed for their beautiful scenery.
It was one of the main leisure areas in North America, with the famous Appalachian Trail.
However, Li Du did not feel that anyone could really complete that trail. In fact, he felt that the term ‘trail’ was a bit too euphemistic: the entire trail was 3,380 kilometers long!
In any case, if they wanted to head towards the Blue Ridges, the terrain was decent and the scenery was good. Unfortunately, they would not be walking through that well-developed mountain road. For the most part, they would have to go directly through the rugged areas of the mountains, which was where the Kochena tribe lived.
Li Du and his team were lucky. They could ride bicycles for some distance at the beginning. The Pittsburgh administration had just built a sightseeing route around Blue Ridge. The route was named Great Allegheny Passage and its total length was 227 kilometers.
When they arrived in Pittsburgh, the route had just been opened. Hence, there were many people traveling on the road, mainly on foot and by bicycle.
There were meadows and flowers on both sides of the road. There were azaleas, roses, and various species of red maple trees. The scenery and environment were amazing.
After getting onto the bicycles, they traveled faster on their journey. On their ride, they first met some hiking tourists, whom they quickly overtook.
That pleased Li Du and he giggled. “Are these people planning to hike the whole way? It’s a lot faster on a bike.”
Not long after he finished his sentence, a car whizzed past them. Reggae music was blasting from the car and the young men and women were wriggling to the beat.
Li Du was stunned. Then he shouted, “Isn’t this a d*mned biking and hiking path? How can they ride in a car?”
Lu Guan said, “Perhaps it’s because this route has just been opened and the management is not strict. Hence, they were able to sneak their car in.”
Not long after, another car passed sped past at top speed, leaving clouds of acrid smoke behind.
Li Du scowled and Lu Guan, too, complained. “Not considerate at all, not one ounce of environmental awareness. Shameful, I feel ashamed for you guys. Boss, why are we turning around?”
“Go back and take the car!”
Lu Guan promptly fell silent.
Soon, though, Li Du decided to give that thought up. Because the scenic road had just been opened, there were too many people. The further up they went, the narrower the road became. A car would soon become useless. In short, it would be much more convenient to ride a bike.
Besides, precisely because it was a hiking trail, they also passed by campers. The tents were set up by the roadside, which would make it even harder to drive.
They cycled for more than one hundred kilometers from noon till evening and entered a deeper region of the Blue Ridges.
In the evening, they passed by a lake in the mountains. The lake area spanned only a few tens of acres, which was very small compared to the size of Lake Erie that they had just left.
However, the lake was very beautiful. The water was so clear that it seemed like a piece of crystal embedded in the mountains. To the south of the lake, there were weeds growing on the side of the road, and the colorful wildflowers loomed amongst them.
On the north side of the lake, there was a lush pine forest. The woods were reflected in the water, and the white clouds complemented the sight. As the sun set, the lake slowly turned orange-red.
At sunset, the birds started to fly home, and some wild ducks, Western capercaillie, and black-naped orioles flew over the lake in flocks. Occasionally, wild ducks would land on the waters.
There were also raptors flying in the sky, with their wings spread wide open. Brother Wolf said, “Is that a bald eagle?! I have never…”
Li Du interrupted him. “Keep quiet, let there be silence!”