Monday, April 25, 2011

SSB (Part 3)

So here we are, Day 3 of my Surprise Spring Break, and my first day off that technically counts as a day off. To review, Day 1 was busy, Day 2 was relaxing, and Day 3 involved me climbing yet another mountain.

I have this theory about hiking, a theory that is remarkably similar to my theory about running. Hiking cussing hurts! There's a very good reason humankind invented the escalator! We have this innate desire to go to the top of things and look down, but you have to be absolutely crazy to actually climb up one of those said things! Kind of like running, it's ingrained in us that we want to go places quickly, but that, my friends, is precisely why we invented the bicycle (and then the car, train, airplane, subway, bus, jet, rocket, etc). Humans are smart like that. But these inventions of ours, these escalators and cars, well they're all fine and dandy, but they're just not the same as doing it on your own. They're not nearly as rewarding. There's no sense of accomplishment when you reach the top of an escalator. So here's my theory;

NA = Need for accomplishment
AC = Absolutely crazy
H = Hiking

NA + AC = H


NA = H - AC (aka You won't climb up the whole damn mountain, for goodness sakes your legs hurt, what a stupid idea!)


AC = H - NA (aka You won't climb up the whole damn mountain because, meh, it's just another mountain with no concession stand at the top. No noodle bowls? What's the point...)

None of this really matters, however, because I was crazy enough to spend my whole Day 3 hiking Bukhansan Mountain, the tallest mountain in Seoul. Even worse, I decided to try out the highest peak out of all of them, Baegundae peak which stands 836.5 meters tall. My legs are still crying just thinking about it.

It started out pretty enough. For the first 45 minutes or so, my trail gently sloped upwards with the tricking of a nearby stream at my side. I passed several temples and shrines tucked into the side of the mountains, and if you stopped to listen, you could hear the faint beating of a temple drum somewhere off in the distance. It was a gorgeous mountain.

But then something changed. The trail got steeper, and not wanting to break my new camera, I put it away for a while. By the time I got it back out, however, my trail had turned into this.

That's right, it's not even a real trail anymore. You're walking up a sloped granite slab, pulling yourself up by these steel cables bolted into the rocks. Felt just great...

If it could be any consolation, at least the view was great...

The top! I can see it!

Proof I made it. It was SO windy!

Go figure I finally get pictures of myself on the day I didn't bother showering...

Really cool though, I suppose it was worth it :)

At the very bottom I found a temple, and per usual, loved the lanterns...

So there you have it, I spent all day hiking and hated myself the whole time I was doing it, but oh man. Little old out-of-shape me just climbed a really hard mountain and survived! I feel awesome!

Stay tuned for Day 4! It'll be a good one, promise...

- Christine -

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