Submitted by Heather Paul on Fri, 2009-02-27 15:44.
4:30am came fast, we awoke to 4 inches of ice on our windows and snowdrifts more than 2 feet high at the doors. Our fearless Barden hosts had been awake since 3am shoveling and digging out the vehicles to give us a ride down the pass to our waiting bus. We rallied as a group, got our bags loaded into a mini little pick-up truck the size of a golf cart which took several ropes to keep the bags on. We piled into a tiny little van, all of us on top of each other crammed in and following our bags down the invisible pass. Ahead of these 2 vehicles was a front end loader clearing the way for us to drive down. We were all pretty sure this would never happen in the US, this would be an inter-lodge situation and we would be lodge bound for days...not here in Japan. These guys meant business. The wind continued to blow and the visibility was nonexistent but somehow we made our bus and we arrived down the pass to rain. They delivered us safely to the bus, all in a morning’s work!
We had a fabulous time and were all pleasantly exhausted and ready for our next task, sitting for the next 42 hours traveling. It was by far the longest Valentine’s Day in history, we woke up at 4:30am and waited until 2pm to board our plane and crossed the international date line to arrive in Seattle at 1pm that same day.
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