Monday, Sept. 18 
A long climb 

  Route 12 was uphill all the way, and steeper than Mount Tawara. We were glad we didn't have our panniers. The road was smooth and wide but there was very little traffic. Rick checked the map and said the climb would be about 12 miles -- twice as long as the Mount Tawara climb. It was hot, and we were just grinding it out. We passed a big car-racing track that was deserted. I tried not to look at my odometer too often. After 5 miles of climbing, we stopped at a scenic viewpoint. 

  Rick was taking pictures but I didn't want my muscles to stiffen up, so I pushed on. He soon caught up to me and said, "Good news!" He had misread the map, and the climbing was almost over. The rest of the afternoon, we were on the gentle grades of the Senomoto plateau. Approaching San-Ai, we repeated the end of the previous day's ride on Route 11. 
Senomoto plateau
Topiaries for sale