Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's a Wise Virtue to Pay Attention to Signs

In the countryside there is always construction going on somewhere. A landslide being mended, a road being widened, and a pork barrel tunnel being bored. It's impossible to not run into construction and as the weather improves it seems as though there are thousands of projects going on all at once. I wasn't too inconvenienced today though. The worst are hour traffic stops that snare you like a bear trap in the middle of nowhere. I often blast through roads without reading too many signs and because of that I don't often find out I'm going to have to wait till I get there. It's amazing they can keep track of all the roads and necessary maintenance. Then again they probably can't. It just looks like they are.

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There is an old forest road way up on the side of the mountains here. The white guardrail caught my eye a few years back. I have a knack for spotting them because I want to go places. Sometimes spotting a guardrail will point you in the right direction. Usually they just lead to decrepit roads that in turn lead to managed forest areas. In other words, there is only one way in and one way out. At least that is how things go in my experience. Many are actually interconnected but with no fancy GPS or mapping service to help me I don't risk it very often unless I have planned.

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I think the view from that road up there would be nice. Getting up there has been on my to do list. I know how to get up there but it's going to be one long walk or a drive on roads I don't particularly like. But roads in places they really shouldn't be just make me want to get to them even more. I have very odd motivations and addictions. Who can get so inspired by distant guardrails?

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The reservoir from the dam down stream makes a very big lake in the middle of the mountains. I try to fathom what the original valley looked like before it was flooded. Dams always kind of make me sad. I don't like them much from a natural perspective. They are commendable from an engineering view though.

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My dad often recalls the color of the water from his visit to Japan. I think about him whenever I look at it. On sunny days it's something else. Dark emerald from afar but clear close up.

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This is the bonsai seller out in the mountains. I can't imagine he has sold many in recent years. I wouldn't be able to tell anyway. I would love to try bonsai myself. I wish I had bought one. The next best thing was making myself take some pictures so I don't forget this spot.

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If you asked me why I like bonsai it would probably have something to do with the fascination I had with terrariums. I like miniature ecosystems and while the bonsai isn't exactly that, it's a self standing example of it.

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Don't hurt your eyes on that one. Then in 15 minutes I met a disappointing gate that told me the road into the deeper mountains was closed until the end of March. I saw the same sign out of the corner of my eye when I could have still gone to another spot. I had my heart set on driving through the mountains and taking a look at the frosty Shikoku peaks. Alas I had to turn back and find some other things to do to waste some more time.

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I visited here one cloudy and rainy day many months ago. It was that same day that the weather was so bad up in the mountains that I had to turn back. How fitting. I didn't take pictures last time so it was begging for a revisit anyway.

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I had to clear some boulders out of the road to get here but it was worth it. I wasn't ready to trail blaze to a waterfall anyway. This made a nice excuse to do something else.

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The buildings are very dirty inside. Yet, a lot of things remain intact. I like the feeling of stuff that was left and then forgotten.

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There are old honey combs and other bee keeping tools lying around. I'm not sure who was bottling honey up here. I'm not sure I would want to know if they were.

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Someone really needed to unwind out here.

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That's clear from inside and out.

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I kind of miss childhood though. That's the only thing I think when I see pictures this old.

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