Sept 26 In a tent. Each of us has quickly developed a tent survival layout. In order to exist in a tent, you have to organize the space as if you were a blind person. Everything has to be where you know it is by touch and orientation. You think you're going to wake up in the middle of the night and find your hat using your headlamp? Exactly where IS your headlamp? To know where things are you have to put them there. So you think in terms of "Shoes, bottom right!" Or "Backack, mid-left. That way, you reach for them instinctually.

My tent-map is:
Shoes, right bottom at door.
Electricals, Camera, glasses, night stuff, upper right, by my head
Clothes, main duffel, at my mid-right.
Riding helmet, chaps, TP. At bottom left, by tent zipper.
Art stuff and day bag,mid left.
Extra warm stuff, top left.
Hats, mittens, scarf, at net bag at top right.

If you don't do this, you lapse into chaos and lose stuff. It's so frustrating because the inside of ones tent is not much bigger than a big dining room table, so where in the effing world did my damned left mitten get to?

I wonder if the reason snow leopards only occur in high, precarious places is because all the flat land used to be filled up with tigers. Tigers used to be everywhere. In the old days, meaning, up until about a hundred years ago, tigers ranged from the Siberian shores of the Pacific ocean into Turkey and all through Persia, India, South East Asia and Indonesia. Nowadays, not so much. If you think snow leopards have it hard, try being a tiger. Everybody wants a piece of you. Literally. As few wild snow leopards as there are in the world, there are fewer tigers. And really, there used to be thousands and thousands if not hundreds of thousands. A few species are extinct. The teeny Bali tiger is gone, the last one shot in 1937. The Caspian tiger died out in the 1970's, when I was in high school, died out as in, bang bang you're dead, died out. Same with the Javan tiger. Really, the South China tiger should be considered extinct, since none exist in the wild. Tigers may be on the way out, supply and demanded to death by the lucrative trade in illegal wildlife parts. Snow leopards at least live in places that eat up your profit margin. Location, location, location...

photo credit: here 

Met with Guntuya Badamgarav, the owner of 976 Gallery. She's a lean, handsome woman with delicate hands, very friendly, sincere, clearly interested, but also strategically engaged in how to make this an event. I confess I am a bit intimidated by the quality of the gallery art displayed. Very very good indeed. Twenty eight year old who paints like a Russian realist from 1895.  Stunning.
Knowing that my images will hang in her gallery, even for one night, brings an extra sense of obligation to the work. She is graciously providing this space under unusual circumstances, so that all the profits can go to Snow Leopard conservation. This journey has already brought me into contact with many people wanting to make similar contributions. It's an interesting moral lesson in the gravity and attraction of a simple gift. A community is forming around this action, which will help toile it effective. This too is a lesson. You don't need every answer to begin. You need a sense of purpose so that you can know when you've found allies and opportunities. Others will pick up the wheel once you've started it rolling. Start anything.


Where is Joe? Current map of Joe's locations... Updates coming soon!

Some photos from my travels yesterday.. Altai, boarding the flight, checking out flash cards.

Off across Mongolia...the biggest big sky in the world. Remeber to keep up with the journey not only here but through the rest of my social networks. 

Twitter: @Joe_Rohde

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