Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 8: Saying goodbye

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sho and I biked 55km (35 miles) from Bihoro to Rikubetsu today. After yesterday's cold rain
and wind, we were pleased to encounter cloudy and cool weather. I wore long bike pants and a
long sleeve mesh shirt, and was comfortable all day. Sho wore shorts and a long sleeve Under
Armor shirt. Somewhat fried from yesterday's 93km (57 mile) push through crappy weather from
Utoro, we took it easy today, pausing for a tasty lunch of soba noodles in Tsubetsu and a visit to a
wooden crafts museum with Eiko and Saya. They were leaving us later in the day to return to 
Tokyo, and we enjoyed the time together.
Eiko scouted out a room at the visitor's center (michi no eki) in Rikubetsu, and we checked in
after pedaling into town at 4:10pm. The four of us picked up dinner at a nearby Seico Mart
convenience store, and Eiko and Saya set off on the 4.5 hour drive to Chitose Airport at 5pm. I 
gave Saya about 20 hugs and kisses, wishing her a good summer and telling her that I love her.  
A 2 year old can't comprehend what being apart for 2 months entails, but she understood that 
we were saying goodbye for a while, and gave me an extra long hug. I thanked Eiko for her 
tremendous help this first week and apologized for the amount of time she had to spend tracking
us and managing Saya's rambunctious and mischievous behavior, missing the chance to explore 
Hokkaido at her leisure.
I worried that Sho would have difficulty saying goodbye to his mom and sister, but he handled
the farewell without incident, giving both of them touching hugs and promising to see them in 2
months, no doubt a wiser child more appreciative of their importance in his life.

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