During one of my breaks from riding, I dismounted and noticed a large strange flowing movement going on in a nearby puddle. I looked closer to find hundreds of small tadpoles squirming about. It reminded me of a toddler's t-shirt I had found in the dollar stores here that said "Happy froggies love the rain", and had a cute cartoon frog on it with a big smile in the rain. I tease Jolene often about this, as she's not as fond of the rain as I am, and constantly have my eyes open for larger sizes.
I tried sitting in the crook in the largest one, maybe to close my eyes for ten minutes to feel myself in such an awesome presence. But after 60 seconds, I looked down at my ankles to find a swarm of mosquitos. I thanked the mosquitos for urging me on my way, and on my way I went.
Walking back down to the path, I was amazed to find so many of these giant cedars that dominated this area of the forest. The twenty biggest cedars I had ever seen in my life were all growing together in this grove as gargantuan beings. I wonder how long they have been alive for? Certainly before any samurai or shrine.
As I mentioned before, the mountains around me were far too steep to climb, so most of my adventure into the mountains was side by side with rivers, which are remarkably numerous and eerily misty.
Ah, here we go, on the correct path to Dousugi.
Well, the road goes on, but alas, this is as far as Gaijin will go today. The setting sun and a grumbling belly beg Gaijin to head back to civilization. Sure, time to head home, but not without a sushi dinner and hour at Kintaro onsen.
Back to school to grade term final English essays, but also back to my maps to plan Gaijin's next foray into the Japanese wilderness.