After last night’s bottle of wine disappeared I climbed into bed and woke up ten hours later. Actually, I woke up closer to eight hours later due to all the noise and commotion of Sports Day festivities being broadcast through megaphones at the elementary school a few doors down, but that was a fleeting (though recurring) wakefulness. I finally rolled out of bed when Chieko advised me that her parents were leaving soon. Before I could finish my first cup of coffee they were gone, planning to hit some sites on their way back to Niigata. (We had initially signed on to help out at Sports Day, me setting up tents at a horrific hour and Chieko helping prepare lunches, but bailed out when I realized that would leave me with a no-day weekend.)
I watched the end of the Sox game, and some basketball, and eventually we fled the noise and took a drive. Before Ray was born Chieko and I would jump in the car and head off to where ever at the drop of a hat. We enjoy going on drives, but Ray has obviously hampered our ability to take them at the drop of a hat. Now that he’s getting a little older and less fragile, we’re starting to venture out a bit more. He had a good suckle before we left, which meant sleep once the car started rolling.
A few weeks ago I posted some pictures from a drive I had taken after work one day, following a winding road up the side of the nearby mountains. I had been wanting to explore further since then, and today was the day. I was a little hesitant about bringing Ray, given the single lane, winding, landslide-prone nature of the road, but figured we would be OK since it hasn’t rained in the last 48 hours.
Once we gained some elevation the views opened up over some nice valleys and peaks across the way. Although it hasn’t really rained the past few days, we’ve still been stuck under pretty low clouds. Take what we can get, I suppose.
We passed the entrance to the dirt road that you can see across the valley. I would have loved to see where it leads, but not sure the Civic is up to the task.
We took a different route back down, which lead through some really dense, aromatic forest that I really need to explore on foot.
Finding out where this road goes has only made me want to go back and explore more, on foot or mountain bike rather than by car. I saw a lot of signs designating various swathes of mountainside as protected, and there are all kinds of trails through the woods (and bears!).
I had notions of hitting the beach today as well, since I haven’t been there in ages, but we didn’t make it. Perhaps on Tuesday, which is a day off, or next weekend. For the time being, good night.