Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shari Mountain

The next day we decided to hike. Shari Mountain is located an hour and a half south-east of Abashiri. We were at a ready position in front of our first trail at 11am. For some reason, it skipped my mind to ask my host whether it was a difficult mountain to hike. I guess I figured she wouldn’t take me on a tough trail since I’m not a professional. Boy, was I wrong.

The steepness of the mountain changed slowly although I did feel my ears pop once or twice. The trail continuously ran around and through a mountain river. Hopping from stone to stone we followed the trail. Climbing through narrow passages and keeping balance on the edge of the river, I felt my confidence grow. Soon, the “path” was taking us toward a steep wall of rock. Wet rock. Slipping and grabbing onto anything that was protruding, I continued on. Three hours later we made it to the top of a nearby mountain. By that time, we couldn’t continue on to the main target, Shari, because it would have taken us back after the sunset.

The trip down however was quite painful. I was exhausted; my legs and feet stopped listening to me. After hitting my head hard several times, I felt dizzy. I banged my knee and felt a very painful bruise. Muscles on my arms, back and legs were aching in disbelief. My feet were completely soaked because I couldn’t balance them on stones when crossing the river. Wet and aching we made it back to the car right before sunset.

I knew the reason behind this “exercise” shortly after arriving home. When I was on the trail, I was one with nature. I had no external thoughts which usually keep my head occupied with many “what ifs”. I wasn’t worried about family, friends, work, money, travel, bagpack, opinions, stereotypes, wars, etc. I completely let go of everything. I was empty. The only thing that mattered was the path in front of me. My feet moving. My breath steady. My muscles flexing. My head clear.


  1. The photos look incredible. I'm glad that you pushed yourself on the hike. :-)

    I was talking to my students today about blogging, because their next writing assignment is to write a blog entry. The example we read today in class was very boring, and I mentioned that I have a blog about my travels in Taiwan (which, I know, needs to be updated) and that my sister has one about her travels in Japan. They seemed interested when I mentioned Japan b/c Taiwanese people consider it better than Taiwan - same way as they view the US or Europe. So I'm going to use one of your entries as a better example of what they should do. They'll like it much more. :-)

  2. Khaikin, please keep the pictures and stories coming! It amazes me that not only are making this trip, but you manage to write about it and post great pictures! Please don't stop :)

  3. i love your attitude and how you "let go" of all the other little things and gave yourself to nature. GREAT stuff!! (btw, i'm enjoying catching up on where you are now. i haven't checked your blog since the x-files episode). ;)