It seems as though people around here, myself most definitely included, are willing spring to get a move on. The old folks are all hard at work tilling and prepping their gardens, drive down any road in any neighborhood and someone will be out swapping off their snow tires, kids are playing baseball (not to mention the 0-2 Boston Red Sox of my last post), the list goes on. The only hang up is the fact that it’s really not that warm yet.
In my effort to embrace spring to whatever extent it is isn’t, I took what I intended to be an extended bicycle ride this afternoon. Last fall I posted about the Tedori River Canyon Road (check the November posts for that), a bike path that runs into the mountains near here, following (naturally) the Tedori River, and passing through small towns and rice paddies. It takes about 20 minutes to ride from here to the beginning of the path, and I still don’t know where it ends, though if I stopped to examine one of the numerous signs that have a map of the route I could get a better idea.
In November I didn’t get very far, but was excited to spend more time and ride further. I didn’t have a whole lot of time today, but I knew that if I rode hard and didn’t stop to take too many pictures I could get a lot further than I did last time. There was a very nice few of Hakusan.
But I had a feeling this would happen.
We got a lot of snow this winter, and they got a lot more a little ways from here. The path was obviously a no go from here on out, but I continued up the main road a little ways. There is so little traffic on these roads that they are quite comfortable to ride on, and if I had more time I would have gone further.
I love the old towns and neighborhoods. They are very cozy, and the architecture is decaying but really cool. With so many pre-fab houses in Japan that use many/any natural materials, it’s too bad these older buildings are rotting away.
Traditional in a different way.
This one probably won’t be around much longer.
The ride home was brutal, into the teeth of a 10-15 mile an hour wind, coupled with my forward momentum. It was slow going, I was shouting horrible things at the wind and Mother Nature in general, and by the time I got home my contact lenses were firmly adhered to my eyeballs.
I stopped along the way at the persimmon grove that I also took pictures of back in November. This would be a great place for a picnic.
So I’m still looking to ride the Canyon Road to its terminus, but I’m going to wait a while. It will be nice once all the rice gets planted, the wind dies down, and the temperature goes up about 15 degrees.
The rest of the weekend was uneventful. We went back to work on Friday, but classes don’t start until Thursday so things are pretty low-key. It’s always nice to go back to work and only have two days before the weekend, but once this semester starts it’s looking like things are going to be pretty intense. A lot of schools in Japan are stretched because people have fled/not come because of the earthquake/tsunami/radiation, and ours is no exception.
Ray is getting accustomed to his new daycare, the one that was opened at our school and were thinking long and hard about whether or not to join. There are only two kids there, including him, and 4 teachers. Still it a bit wary of the lack of socialization, but hopefully more kids will join. For the time being, it’s a beautiful facility and it’s certainly convenient.
I think that’s about all I have to say this evening, so have a good end to the weekend wherever you are.