Gingerly stretching my limbs the next morning I was surprised that they weren’t sore at all form the previous day’s exertions. Actually, I was pretty energetic and on the bounce within minutes of unzipping my sleeping bag. The weather was decidedly unfriendly and I spent the first few hours of the day under an awning by the visitors center scribbling furiously into my notebook avoiding rain.
It was Monday and there were 5 days before I had to be in Tokyo to meet with my dentist friend, Mr. Kubo. I don’t remember if I mentioned it in an earlier post but Mr. Kubo had invited me to spend a weekend relaxing with him at his cottage next to Mt. Fuji. You can imagine that there was no way I was going to miss that opportunity.
My thoughts see-sawed between staying and going as I stared out at the falling rain. I could try and wait the rain out hoping for something better or I could exit stage right and head for a brewery near Karuizawa. The roundtrip ticket I held was good for another four days so I was no hurry on that count. There was plenty of time until I had to meet Mr. Kubo. I had lots of photo editing/writing to catch up and a convenient cafeteria just for that purpose. In the end I stayed, lucky for me.
With my plans set for the day I headed back to my tent to drop off some stuff and ran into John, the Frenchman from the previous night, and his family. They were in the last two months of a year long journey around the world with their two young girls, a feat that I could even imagine attempting, yet. It seemed that they were out for a stroll to Myojin Pond and were looking for some company so I decided to join them. The atmosphere was bound to be different at this mid morning hour and I was eager to take some more pictures. Besides, the weather had cleared up and patches of blue were breaking through the thick cloud cover.
My second viewing of the pond was completely different then the first and much better in some ways. This time I didn’t have the knowledge that many kilometers still lay before me weighing me down and distracting from my photography.
John and his family headed out soon after returning to the campground. They had a schedule to keep and had to be somewhere by sometime, I can’t remember where. He promised to send me an email when he had a chance and they were off. I smiled and gave the chances of getting anything from him at a good 50-50. So many people, so many places, you can’t expect anyone to keep up with all of them. The story of those traveling the lonely road; people pass in and out of our lives leaving behind memories and hopes of future meetings but rarely much else.
After I was alone again time passed pretty fast. I hunkered down to work and developed knots in my back that stretching barely relieved. The staff was extremely friendly and let me make use of a table and electrical outlet, which was key. During the occasional break I noticed that the weather had once returned to its normal equilibrium of grey.
The cafeteria closed at 6pm, leaving me with not much to do. It was still a bunch of hours before I would lay my head down for the day so I figured I’d strike up a conversation with an Australian couple I had had a few words with earlier in the day.
They gave me some pretty strange looks as I approached and it took a few minutes of stunted conversation for them to figure out who I was. At first they thought I was just a stranger coming to bug them but once they remembered me things warmed up. It was an awkward few minutes, let me tell you.
We spent the next couple hours talking about things. Yes, things. Go camping sometime with a group of friends and you’ll understand what I mean. Beer, fire, the outdoors, it leads to rambling conversations that usually seem somewhat strange in the light of the next day.
Speaking of the next day…