Monday, September 18, 2017

workshop and walking

Our boss thinks it's a good idea to have an overnight retreat for the R&D department—a way for us to get to know each other better and to figure out how we're going to be reassigned into teams. This coming Saturday, September 23, we're all going to be bussed out to the boonies in the small town of Anseong, where our boss's hapkido master has some property. I'm not looking forward to this as a social event, and in fact, I plan to leave the event as soon as I possibly can (the boss is aware of this, so don't worry: I'm not plotting behind his back). I'll stay through the workshop-y portion of the retreat, after which I'll immediately make tracks for my apartment. I asked my boss for the property's address, and using Naver Map, I discovered it's quite a healthy walk away: 66 kilometers. That's longer than my upcoming Chuseok walk to Incheon will be, and a further problem is that, if I hope to be at work on Monday, I need to finish the walk by Sunday evening. Given that I won't be starting the walk until Saturday afternoon or early evening, I'll have no choice but to walk all through the night, resting periodically to keep my feet from falling apart.

This will be the longest distance I've ever walked during a 24-hour period (longer even than my 2008 walk from Troutdale to Cascade Locks, OR), but I'd rather be putting my feet through hell than sitting through a fucking social event. (Here again, the boss is aware of my abhorrence of all reindeer games. I've done nothing to hide my opinion.)

My great worry is that this is going to be murder on my feet, even if I take frequent rest breaks. Thinking further, I'm worried that, if I mess my feet up walking from Anseong to Seoul, I'll be in no condition to do my planned Chuseok walk. I just spent a week not walking at all because I'm sick (still am sick, and that's an issue, too); this hasn't helped with my conditioning. Luckily, there won't be a huge, heavy backpack to worry about: I'll be using the same smaller backpack that I used during my makeup walk. Ultimately, I think I'll be okay as long as I take a "slow and steady wins the race" approach to this 66-kilometer hike.

The contour lines from Anseong to Seoul don't look too forbidding: it appears I'll be passing between mountains, not over them, for the most part. I do worry about how much of the path is actually just roadway, and my nightmare is that I might end up walking inside some dark tunnel or across some narrow bridge, trying to dodge traffic with almost no road shoulder to protect me. I'll comb over the map more carefully, during the next few days, to make sure I'm not setting myself up to become roadkill. This isn't the Gukto Jongju, i.e., this isn't an established bike path: the path I'll be following is simply the result of Naver Map's bike-route algorithm calculating a path for me to follow.

Much to consider this week. Cross your fingers and hope that I recover from my current malady, which seems to have reduced itself to crackling lungs (rales) and an annoying cough.


John Mac said...

Geez, this sounds awfully ambitious. I'd be concerned about walking the highway in the middle of the night, shoulder or no. Bound to be some drunks out and about.

Good luck and stay safe!

Kevin Kim said...


I'll scrutinize the route carefully. What I might do, instead, is just walk west to Osan, which is right next door to Anseong, then either (1) find a safer path north from there, or (2) pussy out and just grab a bus to Seoul from the terminal. (Come to think of it, I could probably grab a bus to Seoul right from Anseong!)

Charles said...

I'm gonna have to agree with John here. Not to be a downer or anything, but this sounds like a really bad idea. Grabbing a bus to Seoul is not "pussying out." It's simply not getting yourself run over by a crazy and/or drunk driver.

Kevin Kim said...

John & Charles,

Yeah, I took a closer look at the map today, and it's pretty ugly. This path is at least 50% highway—not just back roads, but actual "daero"-level roadway. There may or may not be sidewalks alongside such an artery; the satellite imagery isn't refined enough to show that. But I'm not gonna risk my hide, and I was about to say so in a separate blog post. Might still say so.