Sometimes you look into the grey and all you see is grey. I’ve had days like that. Maybe you, too. Once I looked out at all that grey and felt so damned blue that all I thought I could do about it was scream.
So I did. Sort of.
But a few weeks back, the Hearty Hikers’ team (of two, this time) had spent a wonderful evening in the Kenmin-no-mori cottages with a great bunch of people who were all great cooks—great cooks who like to provide plenty—and when we woke up the next morning and strapped on our hiking boots, eager to scramble up to the top of Yambushi (first time ever from the Ikawa side of the mountain), we easily saw, inside the grey, the lovely day that was to unfold.
The grey has body. It holds a lot. Sometimes, at least, I know that to be true.
Some others thought of coming along but didn’t. Some of them may have been worried about how strenuous it might be. I hope they’ll come next time. Many trails have sitting trees (those of you up on your evolution know all about them), but on this trail we actually discovered a lovely sleeping tree, quite rare in this particular area.
What can I say? The trail relaxes. Next time, if you come, rest assured, the trail will take care of you.
Some of you may want the numbers: Ushikubi Pass (10:07), Inoshishi no Dan Bunkyo (11:12), Hyakujo Pass trailhead sign (11:50), top of Yambushi (12:15 – 12:41), Hyakujo Pass (13:05), along the road to Ushikubi Pass (13:45).
The trail up to Yambushi pretty much parallels the road so you can jump into the hike from four or five different places. If you park at the Hyakujo Pass, you can get to the top of Yambushi in about 35 – 40 minutes. But you’ll miss the sleeping tree.
And you won’t see the stand of glistening birch trees.
And you won’t see the mountain tilt up to the sun.
And you’d drive right by the ocean and never know it was there.
It was a nice walk. Our buddy, Fuji-kun, played hide-and-seek with us.
A good day to peck . . .
. . . a good day to scratch.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with trail signs in this particular language, so here’s the official translation of the Official Translation Society of the sign above: “You are on the trail. If you’d like to hike together, stick around ’til dusk.”
Actually, though, linguists have been bickering over the translation for years and years. The transcendental grammarian faction, which some years ago left the OTS over the dispute, insists that it reads, “Aren’t you glad you walked into the grey?”
Who’s to say who’s right? Take a nap on the sleeping tree and maybe the answer will come to you.
But I can’t make you any promises.