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Marine Day Adventures

July 21, 2010

This last weekend, I went up to Nobeoka to climb Mt. Okue with some of my friends who live up that way.  Miyuki was already up there filling in for a teacher at a branch of the school she works for, so she came along on her first hiking adventure ever.  Little did we know that this would turn into such an extreme and treacherous hike.  We drove up to the trail head Saturday afternoon.  We followed a narrow, winding road through a deep gorge, and the river below us was full of giant boulders.  At one point, we passed through a small community and saw these scarecrows.

We continued on up the road, passed the trail head, and saw this.

After that, we hiked about half an hour up the trail and camped out at the mountain hut they have set up there as a base camp.   At the lodge, we met a couple crazy old mountain men who were spending the night there, and one of them played harmonica and sang songs for us late into the night.

The next morning, we set on down the trail, checking the river at one point to see if we could get across it on the way back (the return part of a loop we were planning to make).  We’d have to wade across, but it wouldn’t get above our waists (well, my waist is rather high, but anyway…) and it didn’t seem like we’d get swept away to our dooms downstream.  We hiked another twenty minutes in and found the place where we were to cross over.  You have to leap between giant boulders across part of the river, and then you cross a little bridge to get to the other side.  It looked like this.

We didn’t make it all the way to the top (the whole hike takes about eight hours round trip) because the weather turned bad again and we decided we should turn back.  After you hike up a side creek for a bit, the trail gets insane as you climb straight up the side of the mountain, using ladders, ropes, vines, whatever is available to keep yourself from falling off the side of the mountain.  The hike wouldn’t have been so bad if everything wasn’t wet and slippery, but we had a good time and we all made it back safely.  Here are a few more pictures from the trail.

That’s all I got, picture-wise.  It was a great trip and I had a good time getting to know Matt and Martine better.  As Miyuki’s first hiking experience ever, I hope it doesn’t scare her away from trying further excursions in the future.  I’ve been meaning to get some other pictures up here for ages now, and I’ll try to get them up later tonight.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  I took this cool picture of an abandoned power station at an old dam along the river on the way back.  It was cool!  I should try to cross the river and explore around on the inside the next time we go back up there.

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