I cannot tell when I noticed it, but I was definitely trying to avoid ascending roads, choosing gentle slopes, or even going on a long detour. Before you know it, climbing seems a bit awkward.
Suddenly you are uncertain if you can even climb a smaller mountain - about 500 meters.
Celebrating my 90th Birthday, I wish to put on record my past mountain treks (Scotland and Taiwan) which I partook coming back to Japan from the US in 1994.
I settled down back in Hino City, Tokyo in the house I had newly built with Nippon Homes in 1970 (living room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen, central heating). The house was rented to my employer while I was in the US. I eventually sold it and moved from Tokyo to Kitakyushu in the late 1990’s.
While living in Tokyo, I had a number of chances to climb Mt. Takao (about 500 meters) either on foot or by cable car. Mt. Takao is a very popular mountain in Tokyo.
While also in Tokyo, I started to travel to Taiwan and made many Toastmaster friends, with whom I traveled often to Mt. Yanminshan, Taipei’s suburban national park. Mt. Yanmin and Mt. Takao are very comparable promenades.
I traveled to Scotland alone and trotted two places - one was Ben Navis, the other Glencoe Valley, both in the Highlands, near Port Williams. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain (1300 meters) and I just looked up in awe. Glencoe is the most beautiful glen I've ever seen, and sadly famous for the Glencoe Massacre. Glen is named after the River Coe. I hummed Danny Boy to myself, "from glen to glen and down the mountain side".
Sarakura of Kitakyushi reminded me of Mt. Sara-ga-Mine (1,271 meter) in Ehime, my birth prefecture. As a teenager, I was sent there for 3 months for intensive training to learn how to fly a glider. After hundred-days of training, I received an official certification of finishing secondary class glider pilot. During training, the secondary class pilot candidates climbed Mt. Sara-ga-Mine to watch our Primary Class glider instructor take off from the top of Sara-ga-Mine.
Alina, my grand-daughter, married a 'mountain man' two years ago. I was unable to attend her wedding nor have I had a chance to meet him yet because of COVID pandemic. I'll send this blog to him for comment.