turning back four weeks. with the rainy season set to start any day, i decided to take one last ride out to chichibu. that day’s destination: kakkaku dam. i don’t necessarily have a thing for dams, but chichibu has four major ones that are popular touring destinations, and i figured i ought to see them at least once. so far, i’ve visited urayama dam and futase dam; this was to be my third.
owing perhaps to the fact that there was a water shortage at the time, the water wasn’t flowing at kakkaku dam. the dam lake appeared to have reduced water levels too, with the banks exposed quite a bit. it didn’t have nearly the impact it would have had otherwise, but still, it was a lovely, quiet place.
for lunch, i had planned to stop at yasuda-ya in nearby ogano-machi for their popular warajikatsu-don (pork cutlet over rice), but i got there a step too late. there was already a line in front of the shop, so i decided to skip it this time. after all, i did stop here last time…
on the return trip, i took a roundabout route along prefectural road 284. the ‘prefectural’ designation can be a bit misleading– one would think it is a well-maintained road with lanes, but that’s not always the case, as with this one. some parts were nicely paved, two-lane passages; other parts were a narrow, pot-holed mess through the forest where two bikes could barely pass, and i wouldn’t have been surprised if there had been a bear or a boar blocking the the way. when the road opened up at one point, i could see chichibu’s landmark, mount bukou in the distance between the mountain ridges. it was an adventurous route, to say the least.
the rainy season began two days later.
it’s been day after day of gray, dreary skies. i wonder when it’s going to end…