Friday, October 11, 2019

Day 14, Leg 12

Awesome day, but it's going to be a suck-ass night away from civilized comforts. I'm camping on the grounds of an art school for kids. No one from the school was here when I arrived around 4:30 p.m. today; there was one middle-aged gent who was working on some kind of renovation project off to the side of the school grounds. When I asked him about camping (Naver Map said this was also a campground), he shrugged and said I could camp anywhere. So I'm here for free, I guess, and since I ought to be out of here by 6:30 a.m., I don't think anyone will care.

No Wi-Fi, obviously, and I'm tired and achy after walking 34 km today. Two of those kilometers were thanks to a side trip I took into the town of Mungyeong (문경시) while on a quest for an ATM to get cash to pay the imagined (and, we now know, unneeded) camping fee. I ended up not finding an ATM and adding 2 km to my walking distance. Kind of a waste.

But, oh, was it a gorgeous walk. Day 4 of the Saejae portion of the trek was mostly flat, with some minor hills at the very end. I passed countless rice fields, persimmon trees (I ate a fallen persimmon late in the day), apple trees, and assorted vegetable gardens. I exchanged pleasantries with a few Korean bikers along the way and did my best not to listen to the screaming of my feet, which howled despite the painkillers.

And while I have a ton of pics to show off, that'll have to wait for tomorrow, when I hope to have access to Wi-Fi again.

Final thought: I mentioned earlier that the cosmos flower was one of my mom's favorites. The trail has been filled with cosmos for most of the way, and a sad part of me would like to think, almost ten years after Mom's death, that those flowers mean she's somehow still around, still watching over her sons. I took many cosmos photos today; at one point, there was a vast field of the blooms, and I couldn't take them all into the frame.

Sunset now. I'm going to hit the hay very early since I have no facilities for showering, brushing my teeth, or anything else. It's going to be a rough 29K walk tomorrow, but it's also going to be along one of my very favorite sections of this entire route. And there's a puppy at the end of the route, all grown up, now, after two years.

Photo essay:

1 comment:

  1. Okay, this was the first day of the trip that I could not imagine joining you, even vicariously. When you said camping in the beginning, I was picturing some semi-glam campground with a few modern conveniences. I'll catch up with you on trail today once I check out of my 1-star motel room that suddenly seems so luxurious.