Fried does not begin to describe how baked I am. Although I got to Fusamoto station at five ’til eleven, I ended up not catching a train until nearly one. Ultimately it was a comedy of erros. I left my glasses at the cap site and had to trek back all the way from the station to retrieve them. Fortunately, the only thing I lost in the process was a lot of sweat and aoog quart of energy.
I hiked a toatl of four times to get up and down route 297 from Mimata to Fureai, but ti was still a total of four miles up and down the off ramp to the station. I got to meet some nice people in the process, though.
This was the first time I’ve hitched from the side of the road. Previously I’d always started from an interstate parking area which is a lot easier. People have time to size you up on the way into the food court and mull it over for a few minutes before they decide to take you or not. On the side of the road all you have are the five seconds or so from when your thumb becomes visible until they pass you. I didn’t even have a sign saying where I was heading or if I could speak Japanese. Just a big, forced toothy grin doing its best to offset the week of beard and obvious exhaustion on my face.
The first ride I got ws from a middle-aged woman in a BMW M5. She was awefully nice, and not only helped me find the campsite but also drove me up to the driveway. The rides out of the camp site were easier, there was a fairly steady stream of people heading north up 297 towards Ishihara. The second tiem down the road was tougher than the first. My lack of an oversized backpack may have hurt me (I’d left it at the station so I could run). But what that left me was a bandana and a stained undershirt. I was smart enough to take off my sunglasses, eye contact is crucial for this sort of thing.
After running virtually the whoel way back from Mimata, I just made the 1253 train (I only had a window to go home every two hours or so due to the lack of trains in the sticks). Transfers were tight, so I couldn’t get a drink and I’m hurting now from dehydration, but it’s better than waiting another hour to get home. As soon as I get off it’s going to be a huge bottle of water and a cold shower.