Saturday, October 10, 2020

Day 13, Leg 11

I had wanted to write a fairly long post about today's adventure, but duty intervenes, and I have to wake up at 3:30 tomorrow morning to get a very early start on a very long day of walking.  My calorie-burn stats are going to be insane tomorrow night.  I'm packing extra water for the 44-kilometer trek which, at my current rate of speed, is going to take me about as long as it takes an unencumbered me to walk 60 km (i.e., a bit over sixteen hours).

So, a quick summary, then: 

Slept relatively well; no mosquitoes, but the ancient electric fan in my room was noisy as hell.  Left Saejae Park yeogwan around 6:45 a.m., which was an hour later than I should have left.  

Within a kilometer, I was starting up the long hill to Ihwaryeong, the sightseeing point near the top of a local mountain.  5K later:  victory.  I take a few pics, then head down the other side.  

I pass plenty of rice fields and other agriculture.  My impression is that the harvest is about two weeks late compared to last year, given how green most of the rice still is.  I see only one tarp covered in drying chili peppers.  Late harvest or not, though, the countryside is still gorgeous.  I take over 300 pics, most of which you won't see in this post, alas.

When you're walking encumbered, 25 kilometers is no picnic.  I make it to my current destination, San Gwa Gang Pension, about 40 minutes later than predicted.  I'm a stinking mess, so I wash my clothes and shower.  I watch a slew of YouTube videos, set up another blanket bed (no actual bed here, either), then set myself to writing this entry.  A few pics (and sorry there aren't more):

My left hand has gone from burning to blistering, but strangely enough, there's no pain.  At least I can now say I have blisters:

I just realized I have nearly 400 photos from today.   The photo essay for this date is going to be epic. 

ADDENDUM: here's video of me very unwisely messing with what may very well be a baby rattlesnake. Note the twitching tail. 



John Mac said...

In all the years I lived in Korea I think I only saw a couple of snakes, dead ones at that. I had no idea they even had rattlesnakes there. But yeah, it would have ruined your day to be bitten, even by a baby one.

The mountains are tough to hike through but damn, I do love the scenery and vistas.

Good luck with today's marathon hike. 16 hours? The mind boggles.

Daniel said...

How's the special forces MRE?

Kevin Kim said...


If only I could walk faster.


Like an American MRE, it's edible, and I even kind-of enjoyed it, but no one's going to mistake it for good cooking. Taste-wise, it wasn't bad, but the rice had obviously been through the wringer: cooked, dehydrated, then rehydrated when I poured boiling water into the pack. That said, I could've and should've eaten two. A single pack is under 500 calories.

Charles said...

Rattlesnakes aren't native to Korea (they're only native to the Americas, as far as I know), although I suppose it could have been introduced. It doesn't really look like a rattlesnake, but that is a decidedly non-expert opinion. I generally give snakes a wide berth.

Those pics of the countryside like really nice, though! You probably couldn't have picked a better time to do the walk.

Kevin Kim said...


I wonder what other kinds of snakes shake their tails when threatened.

Charles said...

That certainly does look like rattlesnake behavior, doesn't it. Perhaps a lurking herpetologist clue us in.