The road to Kanazawa was long and challenging. I didn’t even make it 10 minutes down the road before I met my first obstacle. The rains had washed out part of the highway I had planned to take, which forced me to take a one hour detour through the country. So the Google estimate for my arrival was bumped from 11:30 PM to 12:30 AM almost immediately.
The detour let me along some of the mountain and river roads in the backcountry of Shimane. The rivers were all swollen to a mad chocolate milky goodness and were wild to see. In many places water was pouring across the road, from the mountains into the rivers, causing me to ford many tiny streams along the way.
Once I get on the Chugoku highway I had another two and half hours of beautiful sunny skies. The rainstorm had cleared away much of the dust in the air. The remaining clouds only serve to make the perfectly blue sky stand out all the more. Soon the sun was setting behind me, and I was rewarded with beautiful blends of orange, pink and purple in my rearview mirrors. Unfortunately it seemed like I had rain ahead, as as I approached a rise in the road I was faced with ominously beautiful lavender clouds down the road.
The next three hundred+ kilometers were fairly miserable. It started raining almost as soon as the sun fully set, and my turn onto the Maizuru-Tsuruga was a turn for the worst… I spent the next four hours stubbornly pushing through a rainy fog as simply refused to stop for the night. My visibility was terrible, and I co scantly felt as if my understanding of the road was relying too heavily on extrapolated data.
So it was, that with 192 km to go, I stopped off at the Kasai rest area just west of the port of Obama in Fukui prefecture. It was just around 9:00 pm, so called Gary, to whose home I was headed, to give him an update. Gary, who is a bit if a weather-buff, promised me that if I sat tight for 15 minutes the rain would pass me by and I would have clear skies after that. Putting my trust in Gary’s meteorological promises, I spent the next 20 minutes phoning home and wishing the kids good night.
As it turned out, Gary was full of shit. The rain hadn’t slowed a bit, so I sucked it up and got back on the road. I spent the last few hours feeling like I was wearing a mostly-blind person’s specs. As I raced down the road in these conditions, trying my damnedest to arrive before midnight, I found dark thoughts entering my mind. I was feeling glad that I had wished the family good night, and told them I loved them, as the conditions really had me on edge…
Long story short (too late for that, right!), I arrived at Gary’s at 12:30, just as Google had promised, and sat down for a well deserved beer.
And her I am the next morning, making camp coffee in Gary’s tatami guest room as he snores away across the house. Overall, the trip to Kanazawa was an interesting one, and well worth it to meet up with a good friend. That said, nest time I will make sure there are no typhoons on the weather map before I leave!
(Posted using voice to text on my iPhone, and not sufficiently proofread, so please forgive any grammatical errors. )