夏空の42.195キロ(徒歩日本縦断#8)

8日目の今日は小平町のバス停で起床

今日は朝から悩んでいた

というのもここから札幌まで行くルートを

日本海側の海岸ルートをとるか

内陸ルートをとるかで悩んでいた

本来海岸ルートの方が近いのだが、去年自転車日本一周の時にアップダウンの連続とトンネルの連続に苦しめられたのを覚えていた

リヤカーも引いて歩く旅ではとにかくトンネルは1番の強敵だ。最悪死の危険もありなるべく避けたいのが本音だった

なのでタクマと相談して遠回りだが内陸を通って札幌まで行くルートを選んだのだ

天気も回復し、早朝出発する。

今日は初めて40キロを超えて歩き北竜というかっちょいい名前の町を目指す。

そうと決まればうかうかしていられない。

早歩きでまずは8キロ先の留萌の町へ

今日の足の調子はすこぶるいい。

疲労もなければ、悩まされてきた左足首も痛くない。「歩く」という行為に慣れてきたのであろうか

歩き始めてすぐに留萌市に入って

それから2時間かからず留萌駅へ

留萌駅から今日の目的地はまずは低い山を越える。ここからはコンビニもなければお店が何もない内陸のルートだ

道に咲くノラニンジンの花が揺れる

飛び回るモンシロチョウはノラニンジンから生まれたみたいに同じ色をしていた

北海道の夏の道端に必ず咲いているこのノラニンジンの花はどこにでもあるが、とても好きな花だ。今日もどこかを旅する旅人の通り風に吹かれてふわふわと安全を見守ってくれている気がする。

山道に入っても傾斜はほとんど無く、緩やかな登り。2人とも軽快に歩みを進める。

最初の方は1時間に1回は休憩を取らなければ歩けなかったが、最近は2時間から3時間に1回に伸ばせるようになった。もちろん歩調が落ちるわけでは無いので自然と歩ける距離も伸びている

昨晩までの雨で川の水はどこも濁っているが、青空の下だとそれでも映える

まるでアマゾン川を旅している気分だ

北海道の短い夏の日差しを浴びて

2人の歩調は落ちることなく進んでいく

いーい青空だなぁ

ツクツクボウシの鳴き声が遠くで聞こえて、思わずイヤホンを外す。

「セミの鳴き声、北海道で聞くのは久しぶりだなぁ」

イヤホンを外すと身体全体が夏になった

目から、耳から、肌から、鼻から、

夏が全身に飛び込んできた

ほらまた飛び込んでくる

田園風景。稲穂の揺れる音。漂ってくる田んぼの匂い。

幌糠という集落を過ぎると、目の前から三台のバイクが大きな手を振って飛び込んでくる

この人たち、実は去年ライダーハウスで一緒になって以来仲良くしてもらってる人たちなのだ。水玉のシャツの人は、覚えている人は覚えているだろう。例のハーレーの兄貴。

今年もまたこうして北海道で会うことができた

わざわざツーリング中に遠回りして会いにきてくれたのだ。

やっぱりライダーさんはカッコいい

というか俺が出会うライダーさんに恵まれているというのが正解かもしれない

兄貴たちにはレッドブルとポテチを差し入れしてもらって、気合いをかちこんでもらった

この時点で既に30キロに達するほど歩いていたが、なんだか元気が更に出てきたようだ

そして今日1番の峠越え。

峠越えの最中はひたすら道沿いの木でクワガタを探す。進むのがとことん遅い歩きだから出来ることだ。

今日はミヤマクワガタのオスを見つけた

リアルぼくのなつやすみをしております横石

峠を無事下ってから待っていたのは

ひまわり畑。

実は北竜町はひまわり畑で有名らしい。

今日の目的地である道の駅のすぐ近くのひまわり畑が有名だが、道沿いいたるところにひまわりが咲き乱れていた

夏の暑さにも負けずに上を向くひまわりはなんだか元気をもらえる

ひまわり畑を見ながら山を抜け田園地帯に入ると

今度はツイッターで繋がっている方に声をかけてもらえた

どうやら宗谷岬を目指しているらしい

ツイッターで繋がっているだけなのに、こんなどでかい北海道で出会えるなんてやはり旅には不思議な縁がある

そして気づけば夕暮れ

だいぶ歩くことにも慣れたようで、約42キロを夕方6時前に歩ききった。疲労もそこそこに今回初めてと言っていいほど足の痛みもなく(筋肉痛を除いて)歩き切れた

歩けば歩くほど出会いが増える旅

いつかぴったり42.195キロ歩いてみたいと思ったりもした。いつか…

歩行距離 42キロ

北海道小平町→北竜町

総歩行距離 252キロ

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