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Courtesy Eileen Ogle.

Dateline: Nagano, Japan – Friday March 28th, 2014
Lead by our intrepid guide, Eva-san, shortly after 12 Noon, eight of us arrived at the trail head in the mountains of Nagano to begin hiking through the forest to see the Japanese Macaque Snow Monkeys.  The challenging walking trail was covered with a thick slab of slippery ice that as it melted, made for sloshy, muddy footprints.  While each step had to be carefully selected along the path to avoid falling, we all knew we were headed to a remarkable site at the hot springs used by the monkeys.  Along the uphill one mile trail, there were eleven signs alerting hikers to their progress (1/11, 2/11, 3/11…..) toward reaching the Snow Monkeys which were especially helpful to Judith and myself (Eileen) who slowly were negotiating the trail with hiking poles.
Pam, Wilbur, Charlie, Bonnie & Boyd were the trailblazers as they attempted to reach the Snow Monkeys in time for the "Live Camera’ website photo taken at 1:00 P.M.  They were successful!  Pam’s L.A. friend, Alita Rabe, captured the Live Cam photo of the five of them with the monkeys and e-mailed it to Pam for all of us to enjoy.
Each day the Live Camera is taking hourly photos which can be accessed at :
Among the 180 Snow Monkeys ranging in age from babies to adults, there is "The Boss" monkey who we learned may not be the largest male but the strongest.  The Snow Monkeys had no problem moving around the dozen or so human visitors during our stay at the hot springs so you felt you were able to quietly take photos without provoking any aggressive behavior from the monkeys.
After spending an hour or so admiring these amazing creatures in their open environment, we bid them goodbye and started back down the snow laden path with lighter spirits for having had such a special opportunity to share time with the Japanese Macaque Snow Monkeys.
(Thank  you Eileen for writing this and special thanks to Bonnie & Charlie for suggesting such a fine and memorable adventure!)

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