Here's the deal

Ok - so I've been slacking royally on updating this, but I have my reasons. First and foremost is that I HAVE been keeping up in my journal. Which makes everything ok in my mind. But I realize that I do need to keep this up to date as much as possible, so here's the deal. Per Mel's suggestion I am going to begin simply copying over the things that I write in my KoJo (Korean Journal). I don't think I'm going to start from the beginning but I will start at some point of interesting more towards the beginning. =) I think.

PS - if anybody can tell me how the heck I'm supposed to get all my facebook photo albums onto here I'd really appreciate it. I'm not digging the interfaces that picasa gives me on here. I want a static page =,( :sniff:

Anywho, entry online for you numbero hana

October 4th - Gyejok-san

Today I planned, again, to head to Gyejok-san and actually made it (for better or worse per yesterday's amazing experience). I started walking towards the huge mountain I stare at everyday I walk to work, and found an 'entrance' easy enough, but it actually looked a little too much like an 'entrance' so I didn't take it. There are a bunch of homes built right into the base of Gyejok-san so I headed towards them figuring there might be a path less traveled. Turns out there are many paths less traveled... they are the paths of family going to pay respects to the tombs of loved ones.

From what I could see, these tombs are small burial mounds about 3 feet high that probably house the bodies or ashes of ancestors. There are often times prayer benches and small 5ft. tall obelisks that seem to act as markers or headstones. If there was any writing to signify the buried it was usually on the prayer bench that was situated in front of the mound. Large enclaves were cut out of the mountain to house groups of these tombs.

[insert cool Jdrawing from Journal - maybe you'll see it after after I die or someone steals it...or you ask =)]

There were hundreds of these around Gyejok-san. Some where around tons of enclaves while some were single mounds by themselves without any benches or obelisks. I assume the poor graves had no granite carved for them like a paupers grave in the USA.

There was one grave that had almost been knocked over that had a tombstone like granite market. They were clearing trees for power lines and this one grave was a lucky survivor. I saw a couple holes in my walking that looked like dug-up graves. Maybe relocating?

I ran into a family at the peak of my first ascent and they were very kind. Seeing my fatigue they offered water and a rice cake. For some reason I only brought 3 apples and water and that was definitely not enough. I gave them one in return hoping to at least show good in return.

There is what seems to be the same exercise equipment at Dongchun-dang park here at Gyejok-san. I think I am going to start working out there in the mornings.

I continued my trek and while walking behind an older couple they told me to keep going straight to check out a fortress! Soooo, I started running =) After about half an hour I had reached Gyejok sansaeng, a massive walled in fortress that overlooked a, now, farm valley. A mighty battle between Paekje and Silla forces took place there once and now all that is left are the remains of stone stairs and a massive stone wall. There must've been millions of stones used to create this massive wall.

After having my go at drawing the landscape (it was horrible, I threw it away when I got home) I headed back. Now extremely tired at the four hour mark.

I thought I got lost once but found my way back to familiar paths (by getting lost I mean I ended up at the pre-cut super easy lower elevation wide road of a trail that was much more boring that the ridge line trail I started on). Once I was back at the bottom I had a delicious meal at a restaurant there and embarrassed myself by not knowing how I was to eat what was put before me. A silver bowl that had 5 ingredients martially separated, a bowl of rice, a boiling bowl of tofu-miso soup and some kimchi were to be mixed together... The old man that owned the restaurant kindly showed me how =) A good day.

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