Thursday, July 09, 2015

a new mountain for me to hike?

I'm very much looking forward to my transition to the Golden Goose. One of the things I had been regretting, though, was that my new residence near Daecheong Station wasn't going to have any mountains close by.

I was wrong.

There's a small mountain, 31 meters taller than Namsan (list of Seoul mountains here), called Daemo-san, which sits at walking distance from both Daecheong Station (where I'm going to live) and Daechi Station (where I already work part-time). The street in front of Daecheong Station leads south-southeast, straight to the mountain's foot, right next to some sort of robotics high school. If the map is correct, you turn right at the high school and follow the foot of the mountain until you reach a trail. One trail leads to a temple called, strangely enough, Bulguk-sa, just like the famous Bulguk-sa ("Buddha-realm Temple") in Gyeongju. Another trail—or at least I think it's a trail—leads mercilessly straight up the mountain's flank to its crest. I think I'm going to have to talk to someone at the robotics high school about what hiking trails there are on the north side of the mountain.

Click the image below to enlarge it (you may need to enlarge further via right-click and "Open image in new window," followed by command-plus [Apple] or control-plus [Windows]):

Daemo-san is a long, stretched-out mountain; viewed from above, the mountain's crest extends like a dragon's spine for a little more than three miles on a roughly east-west axis across this part of southeastern Seoul. One of my newest ambitions, then, is to figure out whether it's possible to walk the entire crest. Back in 2008, I hiked long distances, but that was mostly on paved roads—freeways, more often than not, with no more than a 2-3% grade to them. In such hiking conditions, it's no problem at all to hike 15-20 miles. But when you're on a mountain, even a three-mile hike becomes arduous.

Per ardua ad astra, though, right? Through effort to the stars.

So I may have a new mountain in my near future. I'm going to go explore it a bit tomorrow (Friday), after I hit Dongguk's Seoul campus to see whether my mother's death certificate has arrived in the mail. My brother told me he'd sent it last week.

Much to look forward to, hiking-wise.


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