Driving Snow
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Scarred — the only color, if you look closely, is the wound from a recently snapped limb — In the mountains of Toyama Prefecture, Japan -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Scarred
— the only color, if you look closely, is the wound from a recently snapped limb —
In the mountains of Toyama Prefecture, Japan

The day we arrived up north in Toyama Prefecture at the start of a short New Year trip, it was clear and sunny, but that was pretty much the last sun we saw until on the we came home. We woke up the next morning to find that it had apparently just started snowing hard... there was only a bit of new accumulation, but no let up in sight.

So we headed off to our planned destination for the day, which entailed a drive through the mountains. It would have taken about 45 minutes in clear weather, but since we were getting some snow, we took it slow.

Much of the way early on turned out to be in open-sided tunnels, built just to protect against snow, so not only could we go normal speeds, we could stop to take pictures out the side of the tunnel, from the un-snowy confines just inside. That was the occasion when I took the photo above, along with the tighter zoom seen in an earlier post as our theme for the trip.

One thing I like about these is that the background is not clear... there's something back there. Pulling back for a wider shot makes it apparent...

Valley -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Valley

Perhaps it's not really that apparent... the tree in the foreground is fairly near, but the entire background is the far face of a valley, with a big river out of view in between. Anyway, I thought it was pretty.

The snow was coming down relentlessly, so the breaks between the tunnels were filling out fast. I stepped out from where I took those photos to take this one:

Omaki Tunnel 1,330 meters long -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Omaki Tunnel
1,330 meters long

It looks dark inside (and compared to the field of white outside, it was), but the outside-facing wall of the tunnel was open the entire way, so it was quite pleasant to drive on a snowy day.

The next tunnel started pretty much right away.... looking the other way from the same spot:

That's Where We're Heading -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
That's Where We're Heading

Eventually the snow-shield tunnels stopped, and the roads got steeper, and driving became substantially less pleasant. 10km and 45 minutes later, conditions were worse... here's another backward/forward pair:

Where We'd Been looking downhill -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34 mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Where We'd Been
looking downhill
Where We Think We're Going looking uphill -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Where We Think We're Going
looking uphill
Looking To The Right in short order the road dives down to cut through that little town -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking To The Right
in short order the road dives down to cut through that little town

It was a relief to get to the little town because all the roads were snow-free... because they were continuously sprayed with water (!), just like the roads in Kinosaki we saw last year. I suddenly had much appreciation for the method.

The snow continued to come down hard, but eventually we made it to our destination, which offered quite a bit to enjoy, though it looks totally bleak in this particular photo:

Parking Lot -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Parking Lot

While parking, I heard a snowplow....

Enter the Cavalry -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Enter the Cavalry
Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos

I could certainly have used him later in the day.

Continued here...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

You went TO the snow to drive on ice ON PURPOSE?!?!? For FUN????? Dude, the only way I’d have gone out on those roads was if the “planned destination” was the only hospital in existence which could reattach a limb and I or someone in my family needed such a service.

— comment by Marcina, USA on January 18th, 2010 at 4:38am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Nice shots. Looks like you were going to GOKAYAMA & SHIRA KAWA GO . I spent lots of time in the TOYAMA area late 2001, and on and off in 2002 for work. Great scenery there, both in winter and summer.

— comment by Peter G on January 18th, 2010 at 6:53am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Marcina is always so witty. Really cool sister.

— comment by Anne on September 19th, 2012 at 5:47am JST (5 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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