俺たちの歩く道(徒歩日本縦断#18)

18日目の今日は豊浦町のキャンプ場で起床

1日どん曇り予報のはずだったが、朝日がテントに差し込んで起きる

眠い目をこすって外に出ると曇ってはいるが所々に青空

北海道の最後の山場になるであろう勝負の1日が始まった

今日の道のりは隣町長万部までの37キロ

距離もさることながら1番の問題は峠だ

37キロの間に100メートル級が2個

200メートル級が1個待ち構えている

「なんだよ横石。お前自転車の時は毎日のように2000メートル級登ってた時あったくせに、日和ったのか?」なんて声が聞こえてきそうだがそういうわけではない。

歩きだぞ?歩き。200メートル越えるだけでも小1時間登り続けることをわかってほしい。

そして下り坂だって膝に来るんだ。今日の道のりがそう簡単じゃないことはわかっただろうか

そんな今日の道のり

歩き始めてすぐに1個目のトンネル

怖いから反射材をつけて挑む

すぐそばを通る車の音が怖くて振り返ったら死

振り返って少しでもバランスを崩した時にすぐ近くを車が通ってたら轢かれてしまうから

トンネルは車が入った瞬間から轟音が響くために自分と車との正確な距離感が分からなくなるのだ。

なのでトンネルで大切なのは前だけ向くこと

しっかりとまっすぐに前だけ見て進むこと

決して振り返ってはいけない

そんな緊張の時間が徒歩だと1キロで15分も続くのだ。精神的な疲れは増えていく

そんな峠とトンネルの連続で唯一癒してくれるのは噴火湾を望む風景

去年豊浦から長万部を走った時は死ぬほど雨だった。日本一周中ベスト3に入るほどの大雨。

今年はやっと雨ではない噴火湾を拝むことができた。それだけで心はウキウキしたが、やはり峠は大変だ

峠を登っては

トンネルで命を削り

またまた峠で体力を削ったあとは

トンネルで命を削るというデスマッチを繰り広げる

しかもトンネルは長ければ長いほど寒い

今日最長の1.2キロのトンネルは本当に凍えていた。絶対に10度代だろって寒さだ

それにノースリーブで突っ込んでいくあたり自転車の時から何も学習していない

10キロ歩き峠を二個終えた頃にはなかなか体力を消費したので休憩

タクマは古傷の即靭帯がこの旅を初めて以来、始めて痛むらしく、膝があまり曲がっていなかった。心配ではあるが、「2人旅」とはいえ歩いている時は自分自身との闘い。ましてや旅は自己完結が前提となる。ここは「大丈夫」というタクマを信じて歩くしかない。

後半はお互い自分のペースを守って歩いた

後ろのタクマもギリギリ視野に入る範囲でついてきているようだ。大丈夫。頑張れ。

峠の道中

最後の峠をようやく登り、下り始めると

目の前に広がるのはこれから俺たちが進むべき噴火湾の海岸線と遠く長万部の町並み。

この海岸線をひたすら長万部→八雲→森、そして最後は函館にいけば長かった北海道が縦断完了となる。思えば遠くまで来たものだ、宗谷岬を出発した時は20キロ歩いただけで2人とも足ガクガクになっていたけど、今や20キロ程度じゃ屁でもない。歩くというなによりも単純な行為で俺たちはなによりも「強く」なっている気がする。まだまだ弱っちいけど…

そしてこれからも歩く。俺たちの歩く道をまだまだ歩いていく。波照間に着く頃にはきっとそんな曖昧な「強さ」の本質が見える気がする。

ちょっと偉そうに語ったけど、峠の道中は相変わらず「横石少年」の目線で歩いていたよ

草はらの王。トノサマバッタを発見してテンション上がったり

虹色のブローチをつけてみたり

モンシロチョウが集まる秘密の花園を見つけたり

小学生より「小学生」の夏を楽しんでるよ

地元のみんなは元気かなぁ

SNSで楽しくBBQや海、飲み会にカラオケとかの投稿を見ると少し羨ましくなる

思えば大学1年生からもう4年間。夏は放浪し続けているから地元に帰っていない。

そんなみんなが少し羨ましくなるときもあるけど、俺は俺で歩くよ。みんなそれぞれの道があるように、横石の夏は「旅」じゃなきゃやっぱりダメみたいだし。

5月とかから少しずつ夏の匂いがし始めて、

6月になって雨が降り続いて

7月でセミが鳴いた頃

横石はもう完全に旅に出たくなっている

青い空を見るとアテもなく飛び出したくなる病気だから仕方ない

入道雲の方に走っていければそれでいい

蝉時雨のシャワーを浴びながら思いっきり汗をかいて、真っ黒に日焼けして、そんなくらいが「横石少年」にはちょうどいい

そんなことを思っていたら最後の休憩から11キロ歩き続けていた。

眼前にはもう長万部の街が見えていた。

後ろにいるタクマを待って、最後は2人で歩く

タクマ曰く「今日は今までで1番きつかった」らしい。足を大事に、安静にしてくれよな。

今日の寝床は公園だ。夜を待って静かにテントを張らせてもらうことにしようと思う。

歩行距離 38キロ

北海道豊浦町→長万部町

総歩行距離 515キロ

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