Cruising Uonuma

I was getting a bit stir-crazy late this morning so jumped in the car to take quick drive before lunch. I drove into the mountains on a narrow road that runs along the river. It’s one lane and is still showing signs of a winter under many feet of snow, and spring that brought with it avalanches and frost heaves. I drove to its terminus, where apparently whoever built the road deemed that they had gone far enough. At the end, there’s a campground next to the river, where whoever paved the riverbed also determined that they had gone far enough, as from that point on the river exists in its natural, rock-strewn state. The views along the way are beautiful, with Hakkaisan towering over you to the right, and the giant mountain whose name I can never remember lying dead ahead. It was cloudy and humid today so the view was cloaked in clouds and haze.

In the afternoon I again struck out, this time on my bike. I wanted to ride a cycling path that starts at the base of a small ski slope near here, but as it turned out the trail continues along the opposite of the river that I had driven along earlier in the day. I had noticed the trail on my drive this morning, but hadn’t realized it was a bike path. While the road takes a higher line into the mountains, the bike path weaves through rice paddies a bit lower before eventually gaining altitude. At one point there are signs in the middle of the path urging you not to continue any further, as the path is no longer maintained for one reason or another. Disregarding these I pedaled on. The path is still in good shape, just littered with stones and fallen branches and other natural debris. I navigated between several snakes before coming upon a pool of standing water, and figured between the signs, the snakes and imposing puddle in front of me that these were enough of a sign that I should probably not press my luck any further.

The scenery was pretty similar on both my drive and my bike ride, so here are pics from both, in no particular order.

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And one of the dude for good measure, in his super-gay Anpanman pajamas.

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I’ve been tabbed for some minimal farm work tomorrow — cleaning up the watermelon fields. Time to rest up.

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