CHAPTER 11: The Mountain Wants to Be Climbed

CHAPTER 11: The Mountain Wants to Be Climbed

Mt. Bandai: June 15, 2018 The images in this photo supplement follow the events in Chapter 11 of CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features”: information that didn’t make it into the book. This decorative horse, in the lobby of my hotel near Mt. Bandai, is made in the style of traditional wooden horse carvings that originated in the Tōhōku region. The motif carried through the entire property; the onsen (volcanic hot spring bath) even had small cypress horses floating in it. My first glimpse of Mt. Bandai, out the window of

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Chapter 8: Horses’ Bells and Dragons’ Eyes*

Chapter 8: Horses’ Bells and Dragons’ Eyes*

Morioka City is the capital of Iwate Prefecture, in the Tōhōku region of northern Honshu (Japan’s largest island). I arrived at Morioka Station via shinkansen (bullet train) on the morning of June 3, intending to spend my rest day exploring the city and learning a little about the people and culture of Tōhōku–although I had no definite plans. Little did I know . . .

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Chapter 5: Don’t Forget the Bug Spray*

Chapter 5: Don’t Forget the Bug Spray*

Japan has amazing bakeries–from high-end French patisseries to “choose-it-yourself” wonderlands filled with dozens of varieties of sweet and savory breads (some available year-round, and others seasonal). Although I often forgot to pack a good lunch during my early climbs, I quickly learned to pop into a bakery the night before and pick up something tasty for the trail.

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Chapter 3: Cherry Blossoms and Liver Spots*

Chapter 3: Cherry Blossoms and Liver Spots*

(March – May 2018)* I started chemotherapy two days after returning from my Christmas trip to Tokyo. That sleepy smile in the photo above is a combination of traveling and the massive dose of Benadryl I received before the infusion. Jaime (left) and Vickie (right) made my chemo treatments as easy, and as fun, as chemotherapy could possibly be. They were happy, loving, and friendly to everyone, and I will treasure their friendship always. You read that correctly. (That isn’t a COVID mask – it’s what an immunocompromised cancer patient wears to try to stay safe in public). My mother,

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Chapter 4: You Are Not Prepared*

Chapter 4: You Are Not Prepared*

Due to “exigent circumstances” (discussed more in the book), we had to make due with short term rentals during our first four months in Japan. Fortunately, I had already booked our initial six-week stay through 1/3 Residence–a company that rents short- and medium-term furnished apartments in Tokyo.

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Chapter 2: One Hundred and One*

Chapter 2: One Hundred and One*

I don’t have many photos to document Chapter 2 of CLIMB,* which chronicles my cancer diagnosis, surgery, and early treatment. (In fairness, I suspect I’m not alone in the fact that my first reaction to learning I had cancer wasn’t “SOMEONE GRAB THE CAMERA”) I also have no photographs of my beloved grandmother, Peggy, whose cancer story I also share in Chapter 2. For those details, you’ll have to read the book… However . . . although this is the shortest chapter in the photo companion, it’s not entirely without pictures: Four weeks after my double mastectomy, I flew to

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Chapter 1: Victory–And Misery–On Misen*

Mountain: Mt. Misen (弥山), Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan (The short caption directly beneath each photo matches the text in CLIMB.) My first view of Miyajima: (original photo taken in June 2015). The Otorii is visible at center left, and the mountain rising just to the left of center is Mt. Misen. Historically, the entire island was considered sacred ground. The first Otorii was built before the tenth century; the existing gate dates to 1875. The Ōtorii (great torii) measures 24 meters wide and rises 16 meters high (measured from the sand on which it sits). Torii are sacred Shintō gates that

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