Saturday, August 05, 2017

Mother Nature 1, Kevin 0

Today proved to be too much. I was out of the apartment at 6AM, and for the first couple of hours, the heat wasn't bad at all. I was walking generally west along the Han River, which meant the morning sun was behind me, hitting my backpack more than me.

But by the time 9:30 rolled around, the sun was much higher in the sky, and the weather was getting hot, humid, and positively angry. My pack weighed 15 kg, thanks mainly to the six liters of water and the food I had packed (no restaurants: I was planning to eat on the road), but also thanks to the spare clothing and other random bits of gear. One of my water bottles fell out of my backpack's huge hole, so I had to waste time rearranging my gear to keep anything else from falling out. After that, I trudged on.

Around 11AM, I was right on top of Yeouido when I decided to call it quits. I had just tried resting in the shade under one of the many river bridges I'd passed, but when I tried to get up after resting, I was hit by a wave of dizziness that told me all I needed to know about how realistic my chances were of completing the hike. The last thing this country needs is the sad sight of a 270-pound guy laid out flat on the trail, gasping his last. So, while standing under a two-level bridge, I hailed a cab and made my way back to my apartment, arriving a bit before 11:30AM, a defeated man. It was 98 degrees Fahrenheit out (37º C).

So in the end, I suppose heatstroke did become a concern, and while I'm ashamed not to have completed the 18-mile walk to Gayang Bridge, I do think I dodged a bullet by choosing to stop early. I'll try this walk again in October, when the weather's more reasonable. Meanwhile, I have other ways to work up a sweat.


Charles said...

Dude, trying to walk to Incheon in 37-degree weather is insane. You did the right thing.

Bratfink said...

Where is your duct tape???

Kevin Kim said...

Ruth, we've had this talk before, dammit.