#AtoZChallenge – U is for Urals

Ural MountainsI’m getting to the tail-end of the A to Z blogging challenge with this entry for U. This was another easy one: the final third of Dust to Blood takes place in Central Russia up and down the spine of the Ural mountains.

When we lived in Moscow, I remember some colleague of my dad’s sent him home with a polished shard of mottled gray and white rock. Its base was plainly labeled Ural mountains. For whatever reason, that random, touristy bit of nothing grabbed my attention as a second grader, and I’ve thought about the strange, marble-like rock off and on over the years since then.

The Urals stretch from the Arctic circle to Kazakhstan; they aren’t particularly challenging mountains, in terms of height or passage, but they’re quite valuable for their mineral deposits.

Polar Urals with Khanty camp and reindeerPictures of the place somehow remind me of Alaska, with reindeer and indigenous peoples featuring prominently. Then too, this is the western edge of Siberia–synonymous in western culture with the back end of nowhere. All the better to hide the secret, mystical core of the country.


This will be the last of the geographic tour of Russia for this series of blog posts. The country is incredibly large and diverse and made a great backdrop for my story. I hope both the blogging and the country pique your interest enough to want to read Dust to Blood.

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One thought on “#AtoZChallenge – U is for Urals

  1. Very interesting picture. They are so regular they look like a child drew them. I’m trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs in April. My alphabet is at myqualityday.blogspot.com

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