Edit Blog Post
Published: November 1st 2011
Clutched by a small boy on the cablecar, holding them as if they were a treasure, these vibrant leaves against the soft hands of a child reveal the beauty of the natural things in life.
Do something everyday that scares you. That’s the motto of my 18 year old daughter, Jessica. Luckily for me, as an American living in Asia, accomplishing that is no problem! There’s the little things, like riding a subway throughout a new city without being able to speak or read the language. Or perhaps it’s simply getting lost in the markets – again with no language skills. Then there’s the biggies. The ones you look back on and say, hmmm, now that was a little crazy, but now that I’ve done it, I feel like I can handle traveling the world. For me, that’s just a handful of things. Included in that list would be using a squatty potty – over troughs, mountains of s*#t, or open air behind a rock. Also included would be the art of bargaining with emotion in a Chinese market (“Really, my husband won’t let me come home if I pay your price!”), the thrills of cliff jumping (thanks to northern Michigan and the encouragement of my son-see photo) and now, after visiting Seoraksan, 2 more. One entails summoning the courage, as a conservative American, to walk naked with a hundred strangers, enjoying the pleasure of same
sex bathing in a Korean bath house (no photos). The other is seeking the peak while trekking up a steep Korean mountain (alas, lots of photos!).
Seorak-san National Park is located in the northeast portion of South Korea. There’s numerous peaks to be scaled, trails meandering through hardwood and pine forests, lovely valley views, clear streams, huge granite boulders, waterfalls, and of course, lots of tourists. And don’t underestimate the willingness of the Korean tourist to hike! When they say that a trail “is pretty steep”, that means you’re going to be sweating bullets while pondering how all those Korean city dwellers are able to make it look so easy! Must be something in all that ginseng they consume. Much of the terrain is hard packed earthen and rocky trails. Much of the steep mountain climbing is on the confines of a relatively safe stairway. However, the scary part is at the peak, when you have to use hands, knees, and strong thighs to climb up over smoothed rock with nary a handrail or rope to prevent you from tumbling off the edge. Then, when you think you’ve truly accomplished something only the gutsy, fit can claim, up comes
Many moutain peaks are contained in this national park, but this view with the yellow leaves, dragon bridge railing, and moutains in fog, to me, encompasses the feel of the park.
a child, pushed and pulled by experienced adult caregivers. And then down trots a wisened older climber as if standing on a smoothed boulder at 900 meters with a 60 degree decline is like a stroll on a city street. But the views, the fresh air, and the sense of accomplishment make it worth it.
Check out the photo narrative and enjoy some autumn views from South Korea.
Tot: 0.039s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 13; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0087s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb