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Japan Diary 7

After running Phoenix Falls we headed closer to the coast. Yoshi had arranged for us to spend a day cleaning tsunami damage, with a group he'd spent a week helping earlier in the year. Near the area we embarked on some urban camping.

Nick Calderone experiencing dirt bagging kayaker style.

It's amazing how land is not wasted in Japan. If it was flat, it was either a building or rice paddy. Most were hand planted!

The Japanese are incredible people. Many were donating time to the relief efforts. They were also very sensitive to the feelings of those directly affected by the disaster. I didn't take any shots of clean up due to this. We spent the whole day cleaning up Styrofoam that was over head high and covered about the area of a football field. It has spilled from a fishing plant on the coast and was several kilometers inland. It was the groups third  day cleaning up the mess, and nearly two months since the tragedy. The effort was organized and efficient. Done with the day we did a quick tour of the coast, where Yoshi explained that although a lot of clean up had been done in the cities, small towns were just getting started on. The damage was staggering and it was impossible to be unaffected. I believe we all shed a tear at some point in the drive.  Retrospectively I am sure we all wished we booked more time to help with the relief effort.

It's hard to imagine this as a regular city.

The night after clean up we drove far, far North to the tip of the main island for more urban camping. Then we checked out a small river with some slides we'd seen in the waterfall book. On the way up we were quite amused by a kamoshika (kind of like a goat but native to Japan). The kamoshika was having a very good time with the rear tire of a car in the parking lot. Must be something about the leather. Soon enough it was chasing us up the road, perhaps because we had encroached on its amorous moment.

Stay tuned for Huckin Huge's new film: Kamoshika Kamakazi!

We finally managed to ditch the Kamoshika (back to its original tire mounting) and put on to very low flows.

Shon Bollock boofs a little man made action.

Cody Howard enters the fast and bouncy slide.

Ryan Knight about to exit the same.

Below the above slide was one last twenty foot high exit slide. Perhaps the best thing about this little river was the astounding water quality. It had that rare emerald green that is inspiring. The lighting wasn't ideal but no big deal I had a nice new $100 polarizer. I suppose had is the key word. Bouncing down the above slide my camera body must have landed on it, and I had nothing but fragments of glass. The water was so good some color still shows.

The water was so good some color still shows.

There was also a nice waterfall cascading in on the right. Oh polarizer, I missed you.

The rest of the run was low volume boulder gardens and not particularly noteworthy. With more flow the whole section would have been fantastic, and the slides potentially a bit scary.

Japan Diary 8
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