Fall in Korea

Since I returned from China, I’ve been very active.  Every weekend I’ve journeyed outside of Gunsan to visit new places and to get in as much of Korea as possible before the weather turns sour.  In the past few weeks I’ve explored two relatively close cities that I hadn’t visited before, I made it to the highest peak on the Korean mainland and seen the beauty of the country side in the middle of harvest season.The weather has been remarkably stable – Almost every single day has had a high of 70 degrees and a low of 50 with puffy clouds inching across the sky.  I don’t need a jacket.  I barely even need a hoodie.I definitely felt a chill on my way up to Jirisan, the tallest mountain on the Korean mainland.   It’s not terribly high but it is steep.  The journey down was slow and painful.  I fell down a staircase and dislocated both my shoulders.  I had to sit and battle the nausea that rushed over me after the fall.  I popped my shoulders back in to their sockets and struggled to maintain my footing for the rest of the way.  It took so long to come down from the top that we had to do the last kilometer and a half in pitch darkness.  It was terrible.  My muscles ached so bad but I had to keep going.  My climbing buddies and I ended up on the wrong side of the mountain to get back to little Gunsan so we stayed at a minbak – a very basic korean inn – and waited for morning.   Even though I was in pain (or maybe because) I think I’ll look fondly back on that trip as one of the best weekends I’ve had here.Now – as the end of October approaches, I have to prepare for my next two grand undertakings.  The first is a half marathon race in Seoul on December 4th.  I have had trouble getting in to shape with various hurdles – knee pain, the Jirisan soreness,  and the standard things that get in the way – but I’m on a roll now and hope to make the cut on race day.  The second thing is a trip to Thailand.  I’m going for a week right after the race.  Right now my plan is to make no plan till much closer to my departure but that hasn’t stopped me from looking at pictures online of all the beautiful islands that dot the Thai coastline.


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