After graduating from college, I lost touch with Ward Twain and Zoe Cocker. They were my best friends and the people I admired the most. Ward was a genius programmer and Zoe was an excellent photographer. We had shared countless joys and unforgettable moments together, but after graduation, we went our separate ways, busy with our own careers and lives, and gradually drifted apart.
Until last month, I received an email from Ward, saying that he wanted to go hunting with me and Zoe in Loushan, Zunyi, Guizhou, China, and experience the thrill and fun of night hunting. He said he had contacted Zoe and she agreed. He said this was something he had always wanted to do, and also a test of our friendship. I was hesitant at first, after all, this was a strange and dangerous place, and I didn’t know if we could get along as well as before. But in the end, I agreed, because I also wanted to see them and challenge myself.
So, the three of us met at Zunyi Airport. Although it had been several years, our feelings for each other had not faded, but rather became more intimate and sincere. We hugged each other, talked about our recent situations, and then headed to our hunting destination in Loushan. This was a thrilling and warm journey that made me reacquaint myself with my friends and myself.
Loushan is the throat of the Chongqing-Guizhou corridor, located in the south of Zunyi City, about 80 kilometers away from the city center. It has rich wildlife resources and beautiful natural scenery, and is also one of the important battlefields of the Red Army’s Long March, with a profound historical and cultural heritage. These were the reasons why Ward chose this place as our hunting destination. He said he wanted to experience the traditional hunting culture of China here, and also pay tribute to the revolutionary martyrs of China. Zoe and I were also curious and respectful of this place, so we agreed to his suggestion without hesitation.
We left Zunyi Airport, took a rented off-road vehicle, and followed the rugged mountain road to Loushan. Along the way, we enjoyed the scenery, saw dense forests, clear streams, spectacular waterfalls, quaint villages and so on. We also saw some wild animals, such as deer, monkeys, birds and so on. They ran and flew freely in the forest and grassland. We felt the magic and beauty of nature, and also felt the vitality and diversity of life.
We found a farmhouse near Loushan Pass and decided to stay there. Loushan Pass is a strategically important passageway, where fierce battles took place during the Red Army’s Long March. We visited the memorial hall and monument there, and learned about the history and stories of the Red Army’s desperate struggle with the enemy here. We were deeply impressed and shocked by the bravery and sacrifice of the Red Army, and also admired and respected the unity and struggle of the Chinese people.
We met a hunter at the farmhouse, who said he could lead us into Loushan to hunt. He said Loushan has rich wildlife resources, such as wild boars, hares, pheasants, ducks, etc., but also some dangerous animals, such as leopards, wolves, snakes, etc. He said night hunting is a special experience, both exciting and dangerous, requiring enough courage and skill. He said he could provide us with guns and ammunition, but we needed to prepare our own night vision equipment. We listened to him, feeling both excited and nervous, but we all agreed to accept this challenge. So, we decided to follow him into Loushan to hunt at night on the second day.
Night hunting is a very special experience that requires some professional equipment to find and aim at prey in the dark. The most important thing is night vision binoculars, which can magnify and collect faint light in the dark, allowing us to clearly observe distant animals. The principle of this device is to use photomultiplier tubes or charge-coupled devices to convert visible light and near-infrared light into electronic signals, and then convert electronic signals into visible light and project them onto the eyes. In this way, we can see things that we can’t see in the dark, just like during the day.
In addition to night vision binoculars, we also used infrared binoculars, which can emit invisible infrared light and receive reflected infrared light, so that we can also see the thermal imaging of animals in complete darkness. The principle of this device is to use thermoelectric effect or thermal imager to convert infrared radiation into electrical signals, and then convert electrical signals into visible light and project them onto the eyes. In this way, we can see the outline and temperature distribution of animals in the dark, just like using X-rays.
To prepare these night vision devices, we searched for some relevant information and products on the Internet, compared different brands and prices, and finally chose a cost-effective night vision binoculars and a powerful infrared binocular. We placed orders on two websites respectively and chose express delivery. We received these devices the day before departure and did some simple testing and debugging. We found that these devices were very easy to use and could meet our needs for night hunting. We put them in our backpacks and prepared to use them at night on the second day.
On the second night, we followed the hunter into a forest in Loushan and started our night hunting trip. We wore camouflage clothes, hats and gloves, holding guns and night vision devices, walking carefully in the forest. We followed the hunter’s instructions, avoiding some dangerous places such as cliffs, swamps, caves, etc., and also paying attention to some safety principles such as not making noise, not dispersing actions, not shooting randomly, etc.
We first scanned the surroundings with night vision binoculars and found traces of deer, wild boars, rabbits and other animals. We used infrared binoculars to determine their location and distance, and chose the right time to shoot. We felt nervous and excited in the night hunting, and also encountered some dangers and difficulties.
Once, Ward found a pheasant perching on a tree. He quietly approached it and aimed at its head. He gently pulled the trigger, but missed the pheasant and hit a wasp nest on the tree. The wasps were alarmed and flew out to attack Ward. Ward was stung with bumps all over his head and ran away. We saw his miserable state and couldn’t help laughing. Ward also laughed and said it was the most failed hunting he had ever had.
Once, Zoe found a rabbit eating grass in the bushes. She slowly approached it and aimed at its body. She pulled the trigger steadily, but missed the rabbit and hit a leopard behind the bushes. The leopard was awakened and roared towards Zoe. Zoe screamed and ran away. We heard her scream and rushed to help her. Fortunately, the hunter arrived in time and shot the leopard with his big gun. Zoe thanked the hunter and said it was the most thrilling hunting she had ever had.
Once, I found a wild boar rolling in a mud pit. I quickly approached it and aimed at its heart. I pulled the trigger decisively and successfully hit the wild boar. The wild boar let out a scream and then fell to the ground. I ran over happily and dragged the wild boar to the side. I checked its wound and confirmed that it was dead. I patted myself on the chest and said it was the most satisfying hunting I had ever had.
We experienced many interesting and exciting things in the process of hunting in Lou Mountain, and also harvested many precious and delicious animals. We put the animals we shot into our car and prepared to return to the farmhouse in the morning of the next day. We were proud of our performance and felt warm about our friendship. We found back our passion and adventure in college days in night hunting, and also found back our courage and confidence.
Zunyi is a food paradise, with a variety of characteristic snacks and dishes. These delicacies can not only satisfy our taste buds, but also let us understand Zunyi’s local culture and customs. After we returned to the farmhouse, we decided to taste some local food and feel the hospitality of Zunyi people.
We first went to a small shop called “Shrimp Lamb Noodles”, which is a kind of noodles cooked with lamb soup, sprinkled with shrimp, peanuts, cilantro and other ingredients, fragrant and delicious. This is a famous dish in Zunyi, which is said to be created by a pancake vendor named Li Shrimp in the Qing Dynasty. We ordered three bowls of shrimp lamb noodles and enjoyed them with spoons and chopsticks. We felt that this dish was very suitable for winter, as it could warm our stomachs and nourish our bodies.
We then went to a small shop called “Yaxi Cold Noodles”, which is a kind of cold noodles made from rice flour, topped with chili oil, sesame sauce, vinegar and other seasonings, tempting in color and smooth in texture. This is a special snack in Zunyi, which is said to be invented by an old lady named Yaxi. She used eggs laid by her own ducks to make rice flour, so she named it Yaxi Cold Noodles. We ordered three servings of Yaxi Cold Noodles and ate them after mixing them with chopsticks. We felt that this snack was very suitable for summer, as it could cool us down and appetize us.
We then went to a small shop called “Tofu Noodles”, which is a kind of food that matches tofu with noodles. The tofu is soft and sweet, the noodles are chewy and elastic, and there are minced meat, scallions, peanuts and other ingredients to add flavor. This is a classic snack in Zunyi, which is said to be created by an old grandfather named Wang Tofu. He used his own soybeans to make tofu, his own flour to make noodles, so he named it Tofu Noodles. We ordered three bowls of Tofu Noodles and ate them with chopsticks and spoons. We felt that this snack was very suitable for morning, as it could provide us with rich nutrition and delicious taste.
We finally went to a small shop called “Potato Rake”, which is a kind of food made from potatoes and pork. The potatoes are soft and sweet, the pork is tender and juicy, and there are chili peppers, garlic sprouts and other seasonings to increase aroma. This is a traditional dish in Zunyi, which is said to be created by an old grandmother named Potato Rake. She used her own potatoes to make potato rake, her own pigs to make pork, so she named it Potato Rake. We ordered a plate of potato rake and ate it with chopsticks. We felt that this dish was very suitable for noon, as it could fill us up and taste good.
Besides these delicacies, we also tried some other Zunyi specialties, such as sour fish, hemayang meat, glutinous rice cake, etc. We all felt that Zunyi’s food was very distinctive, with both spicy and sour flavors, both rough and delicate, both traditional and innovative. We all marveled at Zunyi’s food and admired Zunyi’s people. We tasted the local food in Zunyi, not only satisfying our taste buds, but also enriching our minds.
This Zunyi Lou Mountain hunting trip was an unforgettable experience for me and my college classmates. We felt the excitement and fun of night hunting here, and also felt the food and culture of Zunyi. We reacquainted ourselves with each other and ourselves here. We found back our passion and adventure in college days here, and also found back our courage and confidence.
I want to thank my college classmates, Ward Twain and Zoe Cocker, they are my best friends and the people I admire most. They accompanied me to complete this trip, bringing me a lot of joy and surprises. They supported me to face the various challenges and difficulties in this trip, bringing me a lot of help and encouragement. They shared with me the various delicacies and scenery in this trip, bringing me a lot of satisfaction and richness.
I also want to thank the local guides and friends, they are important participants in our hunting trip, and also enthusiastic hosts of our Zunyi trip. They led us into the forest of Lou Mountain, taught us how to use night vision equipment and firearms, protected us from dangerous animals. They introduced us to taste the characteristic snacks and dishes of Zunyi, let us understand the local culture and customs of Zunyi.
This trip made me feel very satisfied and grateful, and also made me have more expectations and plans for the future. I hope to have the opportunity to travel with my college classmates to other places in the future, experience more different cultures and customs. I also hope to have the opportunity to come back to Zunyi again, explore more beautiful and magical places. This is a journey that is both thrilling and warm, and also a journey that is both exciting and meaningful.