Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

A few weeks ago, I was duped into going hiking. Well, not the hiking so much as the climbing to the top of a freaking mountain.  “It’s not that hard,” they said. “It will only take a couple of hours,” they said. If someone says this to you, do not believe them. I repeat: DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. We began our journey at about 8:30 on a Saturday morning. Moak Mountain is a 15-20 minute bus ride out of the city. We arrived at the base of the mountain and it was time to decide which trail to take: easy or hard. As one of our group has a heart condition and I am exercisally challenged, we opted for the easy route. We started up the path, taking in the stunning scenery and the occasional, obligatory facebook photo. As it turns out, easy trail is a misnomer. Several times during our trek to the tip of Mt. Hell I wanted to keel over and die. Or at least be at the base where I could catch a ride home. It took us 4 hours to get to the top because between me and Heart Problems, there was a LOT of resting. Fortunately, some older Korean women took pity on us and shared their food with us, because after a couple of hours we were starving. There were tons of people on the trail, and many of them wanted to talk to us and find out where we were from. Although not all Koreans are so friendly. There was also a group of women that told us to go to the next rest area because they didn’t want dirty foreigners to sit near them. They didn’t actually call us dirty foreigners, but there is a sizable portion of the population that believes foreigners are terrible, disease ridden people and should be avoided at all cost. Also, I’m pretty sure the Koreans have some super-human hiking DNA. Even the old folks were flying past us. It was a little embarrassing. Once we got to the top we went to the viewing deck where you could look down the mountain on the town below, and for a split second that awful climb up is more than worth it.  Then your legs start shaking and you remember that you still have to get down. It took us another hour and a half to get to the bottom. The entire way down is stairs which, one the one had, is nice because you’re not worried about losing your footing on some crazy boulder. But it’s also kind of a bitch to walk down stairs for an hour and a half. By the time we got to the bottom, I was exhausted, sweaty, smelly and wanted nothing more than to go home and take a shower and sleep for a week. But we missed the next bus out and had to wait around for another 30 minutes for the next one. I fell asleep at 8pm that night and slept for 17 hours straight. And my legs didn’t stop hurting for 3 days. Just in time for us to take the kids there for a field trip. Thankfully we only walked up for about 5 minutes, then walked back to the base and just let the kids run around for a bit. It really is a breathtaking place, and it makes me feel like a badass be able to say I climbed a mountain, but I really don’t feel the need to do it again for quite some time.

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One comment

  1. Dakota Fitzsimmons · November 29, 2011

    Hey cousin, the pictures are absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad that your having fun over there.

    -Dakota

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