Sunday, August 06, 2006

a girl and a mountain and what was I thinking!

Let's start on a happy note with the first bento I ever made

I took it with me to Mt. Fuji, but it didn't really make the trip :(

Okay, so Mt Fuji...what can I say? I am sitting at my house right now. My two big toes are black and blue with a bandaid on them. I keep finding new bruises on my body as well as dirt that hasn't come off yet. I walk funny and sound like an old lady when I sit down or stand up. In short...I'm in PAIN!!!
All together there were 8 of us; Katie, Liz, Amy, Kaylee, Shoko, Kaori, Chihiro and I. I brought enough snacks for a whole village. But, later I realized I didn't bring enough clothes (it was freezing).On the way to the top there are "5" stations. We started at station 5 at 8:10 pm on Friday. From station 5-6 it was a pretty fast, relatively easy hike. At station 6 we were still smiling, making jokes, taking pictures, etc... From station 6-7 was EVIL!!! It was this sandy rock surface where every time you took a step you slipped back a little ways. But we got there and took a longer break. Still, positive. Station 7-8 you had to use your hands and you legs. We were climbing up rock. And I hope my mom doesn't read this, but it was seriously scary. There was no rope separating you from the edge of the mountain. It was dark and we had flashlights, but there were some points when I thought to myself, "if my mom knew what I was doing she would be angry!" We finally got to station 8 and rested. At midnight we sang Happy Birthday to Katie. Then we hiked on. The last trek was the worst. It went on forever!!! Have you ever stood in line for something that was really popular and the line moved like molasses and you thought to yourself, "is this really worth it?" Apply those same feelings to Mt. Fuji. We wanted to be to the top by 4:50 am to watch the sunrise. We had been making really good time so we expected to be to the top by 3 at the latest. There were tons of tour groups so we moved so slow. It was this last leg that I lost it. Every time we came around a corner I thought, "I could just watch the sunset from here and be happy. What's so great about the top?" I REALLY wanted to give up . It was emotional, too. I knew we were closer than we were when we started and yet there was still so much left. I started to feel dizzy because of the altitude. I don't know how many times I heard people in our group say, "okay, who's idea was this?!"
We didn't make it to the top before the sunrise. We were close though. And honestly, it was beautiful. I didn't put this in, but on the way up I don't know how many times I just looked up and was amazed at God's creation. The sky was covered in stars, so close that it seemed we could touch them. It reminded me of the song "When I think about the Lord"

when i think about the Lord
it makes me want to shout
hallelujah! thank you, Jesus!
Lord, you're worthy
of all the glory, and all the honor
and all the praise!
Hallelujah! thank you, Jesus!
Lord, you're worthy
of all the glory, and all the honor
and all the praise!

So, we made it to the top, ate ramen, slept and hiked back down (probably the most painful). It was about 10am or so when we got back down. So that's 14 hours, up and down, in the middle of the night. If you are thinking to yourself, "those girls are crazy," I totally agree.
We rode back into Tokyo. Katie and I went to an onsen. We almost missed our bus back to Osaka. We literally were running all over, with our luggage and after climbing a mountain, asking for directions on how to get to the bus station. Amazingly enough the bus waited for us, even though we were 20 minutes late. And now, we are all home, back from our huge feat. We asked eachother many times that weekend if we would climb it again. My answer was always, "no way, never, I don't think so." But, I am glad I did it once. And the 7 girls I climbed it with were totally awesome. We became Fuji Family after that. It is a trip I will never forget.

Okay...I'll be quiet now. Here's some pictures

All of our luggage. I think maybe some of us (not naming any names) overpacked a little

in the train station-on our way to the mountain

At the 5th station; the cheapest toilet on the mountain. All the others cost 100 yen to use.

Us at the 6th station-still happy :)

Chihiro and Katie climbing. A little tired

The sunrise, much better in person though!


Blogger JasonC said...

Just file it under "Suffering for Jesus" or something like that. One request: please define Japanese terms in you blog (eg: onsen). Some of us have no idea.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Katie Swarthout said...

We totally rock!! I am so proud that all of us got to the top! My legs are KILLING me!!!

1:19 AM  
Blogger Abiding said...

Yay! I'm so proud of you! That's the way I felt climbing the dumb mountain in The Base City in SE Asia. It was BOO... you are so much cooler because your trek was like 14 times as long.

You're a rock star, Sho!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Shio-chan said...

sorry about the vocab. Onsen is basically a hot spring except Japanese don't wear bathing suits. And bento means lunch box in Japanese :)

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Chi said...

Fun times! You helped me so much during we climbing back from the top! Thank you so much! :)
I love hanging out with you and Katie! Thats always awesome because non of us can imagine whats gonna happen to us, and its always amazing! hehe.
Love ya!

1:55 PM  
Blogger Shio-chan said...

I love you Chi!

2:32 PM  

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