Before the Rain

kakkaku dam 1 kakkaku dam 2 route 284

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…

時をさかのぼって四週間。梅雨入り前にもう一回!と秩父を駆け巡ってきた時のこと。

この日目指したのは合角ダム。ダム好き...?って訳ではないけれど。秩父地域には四つのダムがあり、それらを巡る周遊コースまであるほどなので、一度は見たいなと思い一カ所ずつ訪れています。今までに浦山ダム二瀬ダムに行ったことがるので、これで三カ所目。水不足と言われているせいかこちらも水は流れておらず、ダム湖の水量も少なかったようでした。迫力は欠けていたけれど、静かで綺麗なところでした。

お昼は近くの小鹿野町で名物のわらじカツ丼を食べようと思って安田屋に寄ったのですが、ちょうどランチラッシュで列ができていたので断念。しょうがないけれど、前回きたとき食べたからね!

帰りは県道284経由で。「県道」と言っても他には殆ど誰も走っていない道で、綺麗に舗装されている二車線のところもあれば、バイクでもすれ違いにくい細い林道で今にも熊やイノシシ、もしくは山賊が現れそうなところもあり、冒険気分でいっぱい。峠の上の方で開けているとこがあり、山々の間から武甲山が顔を出していました。近くでは天空のおまんじゅう!?と言う物が販売されていましたが、立ち寄る余裕がなく通過してしまいました。

この2日後に関東地方が梅雨入り。
冴えないグレーの空が続く日々。いつ終わるのかな...

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This entry was published on June 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm. It’s filed under On The Road and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Before the Rain

  1. Enid on said:

    Thank you for your wonderful photos. Through them I can see the beauty that tends to draw my brother to Japan as it drew my parents. They went every year. He goes every 6-8 years.

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