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Mission City Voices: Climbing Mt. Fuji

I was stationed on the USS Boxer CVA21 during the Korean War (NOT CONFLICT).  My ship was tied in at Yokuska, Japan. The ship offered a trip to Mt Fuji. We were taken by bus; it was about a 2 hour trip.

When we arrived at the base of the mountain there was a stand where you could buy water and snacks. Also at this stand, they sold walking sticks which were 6 feet tall and about l l/2 inches wide. There were stations about every 1000 feet and they would brand your sticks with the name of the station. When you reached the top of the mountain, they would brand a likeness of Mt Fuji on the top of the stick. This would indicate that you made it to the top of the mountain.

It took 8 hours to reach the top. The path to the top was easy walking distance. We spent the night at a shelter that had a hard bed. The next morning it was foggy so we couldn’t look into the crater. While walking down the mountain, my momentum kept getting faster and faster until I flew about 10 or 12 feet. The descent took 4 hours. When we returned to Yokosuka I got out of the bus and fell to the ground. My legs could not hold me up.

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I had fond memories of that trip except someone on the ship stole my walking stick.  So there went my proof that I made it to the top of Mt Fuji.

 

Mission City Voices

Do you have a personal essay that you’d like to submit for consideration? Please send them to scweekly@ix.netcom.com, subject line: Mission City Voices.

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