River Trek

Two days ago, we visited the Takkobu Ministry of Environement site and hiked up a river until we reached its mouth. We were guided by Mr. Terauchi and Mr. Jima who were both park rangers and members of MoE. At first, I thought we were going to be hiking near a river, on land but instead, 99% of the time we were actually in the water, walking up the river.

I always hike mountains and trails in the Bay Area in Northern California, but I have never trekked up a rive in a forest. Thus, this experience was very new to me and there definitely were some ups and downs of this trek. I think the biggest downside of this was constantly being cautious. And by this, I mean being cautious of certain bugs and parasites. When I go hiking in the mountains/valleys back home, I always wear running shoes, leggings and a tank top, but for this trip, we had to prepare ourselves and cover our entire bodies because of horseflies, mosquitoes and more. Not only was I uncomfortable with the heat from trekking, but because I was wearing many layers of clothing, rubber boots, my rain jacket hood on, with a hat and a head net, I was overheating. The rain boots were useful because of obvious reasons of trekking within the river, but the wind breaker hood, baseball hat and head net was suffocating. And just outside of the head net I could see and hear the buzzing of all kinds of bugs flying around my head, landing on the net, I had to bite my tongue and keep it all on. So although I enjoyed myself, the constant worry of being bitten by bugs was a bothersome and I felt like I could not enjoy the experience to the full potential.

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But as much as I hated the bugs around me, it was an amazing experience. I think one of two best parts of the trek was seeing the water glisten in the sun. Though most of the river is covered by trees, sometimes the sun would peak through the trees and shine on the river and that image was absolutely stunning. The other best part of the trek was reaching the final destination of the river mouth. I have never seen a river mouth, because these types of opportunities are quite rare, and so when we reached the start of the mouth, I was very moved in way because the mouth of the river was very small, and to know that that small source of water creates a long and medium sized river was incredible.

Overall, this trip up the river was a completely new experience and like I mentioned earlier, had many ups as well as downs. I am very glad and satisfied with the trek up the river, but I think once is enough and if I had the opportunity to do this again, I would probably not do it again.

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