In late October a few friends and I wanted to squeeze one more day of hiking in before the colors disappeared. But then our driver got sick and demanded she get to sleep in before a late noon departure time. Fair enough. A sick girl needs her rest! We started off on our drive to the hike, and got distracted by an awesome 'lil farmer's market. Fair enough - the little oranges (mikan) were delicious. Back on the road for the closest and most well known mountain in Maebashi, Mt. Akagi, for that hiking we planned on. Lauren didn't know the EXACT way to the mountain or a hiking trail, but as you can see, the colors were still amazing on our adventurous drive.
But then we got distracted by this.
Yes, a giant roller slide in the middle of a national park. $2 for a pad and a short but fun ride down this roller slide!
It looks like I was going at warp speed or something... that's deceiving.
Onto hiking? Nope, time to eat again. My first taste of figs. Real figs taste nothing like fig newtons. We ended up having a 'heated' debate about whether you're meant to eat the skins or not. I decided that while you can, and they've probably got all the nutrients like most fruit skins, they don't really taste that great.
Yay! Onto our hike! By this time though, we only had a few hours before the sun set. I chose this trail in the middle of nowhere because that's where we were. It was steep... and there was hardly any one else on it. Lauren also realized she was more sick than she thought and had to stop half point, which was sad.
Still, it was perty and I decided to make a leaf angel, on like this 50 degree angle hill.
Laurel and Alex making their way up.
Check out this gnarly tree!
This is where we realized we'd have to turn back to get down before the sun set. This is looking up in envy of a mountains peak we were far from reaching.
Group shot: Lauren, Alex, Laurel, me, and Russ with picturesque tree in the background. Props to Alex and his tripod, even if it does slow him down a bit on the trails.
Mmmm - a delicious dinner at the Italian restaurant by my house. Up until now, I couldn't bring myself to eat at one of the MANY Italian restaurants in the area (super trendy in Japan right now)... the Japanese food and restaurants are just too good! A quick change for our lovely vegetarian in the group though brought us here, and it was a fantastic surprise. There were like 318 pasta dishes, and since every menu has the option of a set (usually with a starter, drink, main dish and dessert), I went with the extreme dessert platter set option. Best choice ever!