I pitched my new, blue tent near the water, watching the sun low in the sky. As darkness came, I went into the tent to update my journal, but didn't get much written before dozing off.
"HAHAHA, SUGOI DESHOU!"
I was awoken by loud voices and laughter outside. As my senses returned, I heard the distinct sound of fireworks.
I got up to watch them. Colorful explosions of green, red, and gold cascaded brilliantly toward the lake, reflecting off the water as they fell.
Forgive me, it's corny, but the moment was magical. My first day of hitchhiking had been an unqualified success. Starting in Sapporo, I'd received four fantastic rides, covered 140 scenic kilometers, and seen two beautiful lakes in southern Hokkaido.
How fitting that it should end with fireworks.