Running on -10 hours of sleep, I woke up at 6 the next morning and headed back out for one of my favorite things that I rarely get to do: hiking. I really want to make an effort to hike more this year. I’ve got all of these mountains around me, but finding hiking trails that I can easily get to is more of a challenge than I expected.
So when Lauren invited me to go hiking with her friends, I was ecstatic. I asked her what kind of hike it would be so I knew what to wear and she responded with, “Well, one of my friends is an old lady who said she walks pretty slowly, so it probably won’t be anything too hard.” We will never underestimate Kurimoto-san’s climbing prowess ever again.
The drive from Lauren’s to the hiking site took about an hour and a half. By the time we got close to the parking area we were driving on roads that had long since been reclaimed by the land. Lauren and I were holding onto the car seats for dear life, but the two Japanese people in the car did not seem to see anything wrong with the situation. It was hilarious and fun, once we got over the fact that were thought the car was going to end up rolling off the side of the mountain.
Eventually the road became too much for even Japanese perseverance, or ganbatte-tude, to handle. Lauren and I got out of the car and hung out on the “road” while the other two retraced the path back to a different parking lot we had passed. Once they caught back up with us, we started on the real hike.
We hiked for about two hours, I think. The hike was supposed to be a lot shorter, but apparently we kept taking overly complex routes. Still, the place we stopped for lunch (a waterfall that is normally completely frozen this time of the year) made it all worth it.
The hike back to the car went a lot faster because we actually managed to ind the correct path.
The day was incredibly fun and a good end to a busy but great weekend. I am really glad I got to meet Kurimoto-san. She’s the adoptive grandmother of the Kadogawa ALTs (Lauren’s position). She’s just a really sweet person and it is always good to have another connection in this area.