The woods and the waters and the people that make a home.

It's hot as hell again. Not even a slight breeze to offer some relief from the sweltering, humidity-laced heat that hangs in the air. I don't think I have stopped sweating since I left the air-conditioned hotel room in Kyoto yesterday morning. I sit here at my computer, my damp fingers on the keys, trying … Continue reading The woods and the waters and the people that make a home.

Tales from swallow mountain.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the mountains of Japan. Until about a year ago, when Amanda came here for the first time, I didn't even know that the Japanese Alps existed. Sure, everyone's heard of Mt. Fuji, and perhaps skiing and the Winter Olympics in Nagano, but I had no idea about … Continue reading Tales from swallow mountain.

What is a cosmic ray, anyway?

Our second day in the mountains was going well. The rain was holding off, we were slowly becoming more efficient, and despite the atrocious flies that buzzed continuously around our heads and found the need to explore our ears, noses, and eyelids, and the occasional frustration and delay of a tree core stuck in a … Continue reading What is a cosmic ray, anyway?

“I shoulda brought my crampons.”

After over a week of getting acquainted with Japan and Matsumoto, figuring out a confusing and somewhat frustrating permit process, and experimenting with potential food options for backcountry camping in Japan (a task that turned out to be a lot harder than you would think), we finally embarked to the mountains in an attempt to … Continue reading “I shoulda brought my crampons.”

“Middle name John” and adventures in eating.

We arrived in Matsumoto on Friday afternoon, and our meeting with Amanda's contact in Japan to figure out what our plans were going to be for field work wasn't until Monday, leaving us with an entire weekend to explore. Saturday was spent roaming around downtown Matsumoto, first visiting the number-one tourist destination in the city---the … Continue reading “Middle name John” and adventures in eating.