Frodo and Sam vs. the Volcano?

At long last I have been able to complete this post! I won't go into lengthy detail about where we were when because you probably already read the itinerary so I will just tell you about the interesting stuff. And of course pictures!

We had everything that we needed and were practically all packed up, just those few morning things that would need packed. Luke set off to bed and I was soon to follow. In the middle of the night, like 2 AM, I wake to the sounds of my husband puking his guts out in our living room into my one and only stock pot! We thought at first that it could be H1N1 because a child at school got it but it turned out to be something he had eaten for dinner. When we woke bright and early (ok not bright) Luke was feeling much better, just weak from having nothing inside him!

We packed everything up and headed on our bikes, gear on our back, to the Yakuba (Village Office) where we would store our bikes until we got back, and then to the bus stop.

We arrived at the brand new bus stop 35 minutes early so we would not miss the bus. I am standing on the side of the road, desperately searching in both directions for anything that looks like it could be a bus and I see one. It's going the wrong direction but heading up to where we dropped our bikes off. And then it came back the same way and off it goes. We wait, and wait. We wait for 25 minutes past when the bus should have been there and then I say we need to call someone! If we don't get to Sendai we are going to miss the next bus which we actually have reservations for! Turns out we were given the wrong location to wait for the bus, it was actually that other bus I had seen and we were supposed to catch it at the Yakuba! Yeah I know!

So after calling Reiko-San she picked us up and drove us into Sendai. She was headed that way, and she is awesome! We made it to the bus station in Sendai with 20 minutes to spare!

The almost 4 hour bus ride to Kisakata was beautiful. Luke and I weren't able to get seats next to each other but, like nerds, we text-ed each other during the trip. "oh look at this girl's purse next to me! It is so cute" "Look how beautiful!" "Did you see that giant set of fries attached to that McDonald's?" "Ocean!" Yeah, we are total nerds.

We got to town, found a camp site and got some food before setting up camp.

Our first tent together! Small and cozy. Sheltered by really tall pine trees and behind the trees...the ocean!

Luke getting in touch with his girlie Japanese side outside the Ramen shop. That's my husband alright!

The man who owns the Ramen shop invited us to bar-b-Q at a friend's house that night. After setting up the tent we head back to the Ramen shop to meet the owner to go to dinner. As we are walking across town we get the joy of seeing the sunset over the ocean. And I begin to get the worst migraine in history! But like a trooper I made it all the way to the friends house before having to lay on the floor under a blanket praying to throw up. After a long time...I don't really know how long, Luke had convinced them that I was well enough to go back to camp to sleep. They don't really understand that when you have a migraine the best thing is to sleep in a dark quiet place. But after a short sleep, when the alarm went off at 4:00, I felt great! We packed up camp and headed to the mountain.

Some of my favorite moments from climbing the mountain:

The beginning of the mountain trail....ahhh the bottom, nice and flat and paved with stairs.

A beautiful lookout a small distance up the mountain. I stopped here coming down as well to get some great pics.

Part way up a really steep climb Luke turns to me, both panting, and says, "Now I know how Frodo and Sam felt!" And I burst out laughing. My laughter could be heard up and down the trail and I fell over on the ground. One of the best hiking moments EVER!

At our lunch stop at the hidden lake. A husband and wife brought their 6 year old dog with them. He hiked all the way up, no problem. Here he is hiding in the flowers.

Lunch at the hidden lake.

Mt. Chokai was a volcano at one point and it blew its top off long ago and now it is a lake on top. Totally amazing. At lunch we could see the clouds start to come in off the ocean from the other side of the mountain. For more great pictures of this trip and others please visit my website Lindsey Harwath Photography.

A few things I learned while climbing this mountain: You may not notice the altitude difference until every Japanese person passes you without problem, I need to get better at this...6-year-old dogs and 4-year-old children climb faster than me, always bring more food (there was no grocery store that I saw in Kisakata) and water, it is not a race, enjoy it up and down, and you can never take too many pictures!

It took about four hours to get to the hidden lake and only a hour and a half to make it back down. We had an early dinner while waiting for the bus to take us back to Kisakata where we camped again at the same camp ground. Let me tell you I am not opposed to listening to the ocean while sleeping or waking. That was the best campground view. We positioned our tent so that out one door we could see the sunset over the ocean and out the other we could see the sunrise over the mountain! AWESOME!

The next morning we spent lounging on the beach and enjoying the ocean that we never get to see.

The Ocean, early morning, like 5:30. Yes it is that bright here in Japan that early. No daylight savings here folks.

Standing in the Ocean you can see Mt. Chokai and to the right in the pine trees is our camp site.

What a great trip and perhaps the best birthday ever!


Dad W said...

What a wonderful, adventurous trip!! I especially liked the setting for your tent. The Frodo thing was funny!! Keep the pics coming!!

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