With the morning in full bloom, I arose to start my day. Despite being in the infancy of its season, the sight of the Sakura at Hirosaki Castle was something to behold.
Regardless of what you think of the scenery, you couldn't deny the sheer magnitude of its vibrance. It was a true sight to behold and it's one I get to see more of, as the season progresses.
As for today's plans, I'll be taking the bike up to Cape Oma, which is the northernmost point of the Aomori prefecture.
It's well known for its ax-shaped geography and a wealth of tuna for fishing.
Unfortunately, I won't have time to take in everything Shimokita has to offer, but Cape Oma seems to encompass the best of everything that this area has to offer.
Before I pack up my belongings on the DZed, I head over to one of the many vending machines to get myself a bottle of coffee.
It still blows my mind that there are so many of these machines available, at any time of day.
According to my GPS, it looks I have a 3-hour ride to the Cape. Considering the route that's mapped out for me, it appears that there will be a lot of time on the bike, today.
With my gear in tow, I shift out of Aomori City and towards Cape Oma.
Because of the geography, it appears that a great deal of my time will be spent riding alongside Mutsu Bay.
While that open water breeze will feel nice, I hope its wind direction doesn't cause a slower trip time on the bike.
This part of the prefecture is also known to be very rural, so fuel stops will be a treasured commodity.
As the miles turn over on the dash, I start to think about home.
I don't know what set me off on this path in life, but each passing mile brings back a memory that stepped me closer to where I am today.
Perhaps it's just my genuine fascination with adventure and seeing new things that propelled me on this path. Maybe it's a deep-seated longing for something. A perpetual chase, if you will.
In a time in my life when friends are getting married and starting families, I'm re-imagining an epic tale on two wheels. In a sense, I traded stability for adventure.
While the freedom to do the latter affords me many great experiences, I often wonder what would have been if I settled down? Would I feel satisfied with the route I took?
For the immediate future, that existential question will be the ever-present thought in my mind.
Speaking of routes, 3 hours pass and I have made it to Cape Oma. I've been told that on a clear day, you can see Hakodate and the tip of Hokkaido from the Cape.
I picked the right day to witness that, as the mostly clear sky allows visitors to peer over into its northern neighbors.
The Cape has a lighthouse to help magnify the view. This appears to be the popular method of looking, as tourists are galavanting over to the spot in droves.
I've decided against getting an aerial view from the lighthouse, as I don't want to waste the time in line.
At the tourist center of the Cape lies a statue of a Tuna. It symbolizes a 900+ pound Tuna that was once caught off of the Cape. I'd like to meet whoever caught the fish...
And decided to make a statue to commemorate the event. As I begin to question the ridiculousness of that statue, I do have to remember that Buffalo are idolized in similar kin back home...
Regardless, I made the most of the tourist center and snapped some photos with the jumbo Tuna.
Fortunately, there's a free campsite and plenty of places to eat nearby so that will serve as my lodging, for the night.
I'll also use this opportunity to give the bike another look over and maybe change a few things.
With the afternoon spent around the Cape, I head over to the nearby campsite to set up shop. After a thorough inspection, everything on the bike looks to be ok.
I decided to swap out the sprockets to see if I can get a better power delivery on the bike. The change will be minimal, at best, but whatever helps improve power and gas mileage.
To go with that, I also checked the chain to make sure everything is in good condition and applied a new layer of lube.
Now that the bike is taken care of, I had a nice meal over the campfire and picked away at my guitar. We'll see if that Record-setting Tuna catch can inspire any creativity ;)...
Tomorrow will be an early day, as I'm heading to the Akita Prefecture to check out the Shirakami-Sanchi.
From what I've heard, it's a fantastic mountain range filled with many miles of picturesque wilderness. Hopefully, the new sprocket will help get me there a little bit quicker.
Thanks again and I'll see you soon!