Saturday, August 31, 2013


FINALLY! (Just a warning, this post may have several words in all caps. I'm pretty excited.) Ever since we went and checked out the Bangseonmun Valley a few weeks ago, I have been dying to go back, and today the weather finally cooperated and I managed to convince Nancy to come with me. As it turned out, upon taking a look at a map of the city, the trailhead for this one isn't too far away. I'm sure I looked pretty awesome riding my bike with a 15 kilogram backpack (at least according to our scale) that had two helmets on the outside of it. I was carrying Nancy's stuff as well as mine. I wasn't sure what to expect in this one, so I brought the whole hog, the rope, the harnesses, enough webbing to make a few anchors, and my sense of adventure. The bike ride there was pleasant. We parked our bikes at the bottom end of the trail and hiked up. The original plan was to hike all the way up to the top of the valley, but after hiking on the trail a little, we realized that there was quite a bit more water in this canyon than there was last time we were there, so we decided to drop in at the library and go from there. The canyon commenced, and for a long time, it looked like it was going to be really pretty and fun, but not very technical. It kind of stayed that way. The bottom was full of water (running water!), but you could avoid it most of the time, and it wasn't very cold at all. I did, however, have to swim at the beginning. Nancy went around through the forest and got attacked by bugs. I think I made the better choice. Anyway, here are a few pictures.

Running water!

I'm totally stoked to be canyoneering, even if my gut is hanging over my belt like crazy! 

I vote that this should be Nancy's new Facebook profile picture.

The waterfall in the background of this one was probably the coolest one.

Nancy standing on a cool overhanging rock.

Why yes, that is an overpass. Did I neglect to mention that this canyon is basically in the middle of the city?

Still super pretty!

Hyundai endorses this canyon.

After the overpass, the canyon actually got a little more technical. Nancy decided to get out and walk on the trail (That's the thing, for most of this canyon you could just climb up the side and get on the trail.) because she didn't feel like swimming, but I went for it! I took a downclimb down into a pool, and it was a swimmer! At least for a second. Then I continued down canyon, and the walls got a bit higher and I had to downclimb a couple more things. Then I got to a spot that I couldn't downclimb and I couldn't walk around. There was nothing for it! I had to make an anchor and rappel! It was a blast and was so glad that I got the chance. Some people who are a little more crazy may have downclimbed it, but I did not. Here are a few more pictures:

Looking back up at where Nancy left the canyon. It was still super pretty!




As you can see from the look on my face in the above picture, I had a pretty awesome time. It wasn't an intense canyon or anything, but I had a great time with it! The technical section ended pretty much right after it began, but it was fun while it lasted, and overall I was glad that I dragged all of my stuff down into the canyon. Also, it was good exercise, as I would prefer for my gut to not be sticking out so much when I wear my backpack. At any rate, that's about all I have to say about this adventure, except that it was AWESOME! This is Captain Danger out.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In Which I Feel Like Writing

Well, we had a fairly quiet weekend this week. I wanted to go canyoneering, but the weather forecast was not favorable, and from what I understand, flash flood danger is much higher here than it generally is back in Utah. We were also thinking about going to Hallim Park (it's a big tourist destination on the island that we want to check out) but then we found out that there would be a baptism in our branch and we decided to go to that instead. So, we went for a good run. I decided we should push ourselves a bit and we ran up a pretty steep hill for a while. There was a sign, but we weren't sure what it said. When we got back, Nancy figured out that we probably ran into a military restricted zone. Oops. In our defense, the sign was only in Korean, (well, except for that part that said "WARING" in English) and Nancy said that the wording wasn't very clear. I mean, they could have just said, "No Entry," and she would have understood. They didn't, though. It was a good run, though. I worked pretty hard. We've been consistently going at least three days a week. I didn't step on the scale this morning, but I have a strong hope that I'm still losing weight.

The baptism at the church was fun. It was a teenager getting baptized, and it was a nice service. After the baptism they had treats. They had a little kid (like the cutest child in the branch) say the prayer (I'll admit, it was super cute) and after he said amen and everyone else said amen, everyone said, "Aaaawwwww!" Pretty funny. They had a cake, among other things. I don't know if I've pointed it out on this blog before, but I think it's both awesome and kind of hilarious that the Korean word for cake is "cay-eek-uh." So, that was a pretty good time.

In other, unrelated news, there is a huge spider quite near a location that we pass on a regular basis. The actual location will remain a secret, because if Nancy knows were it is she'll probably freak out. She'll probably freak out anyway. I can tell you, that's something that I will not miss when we move away from here. The bugs over here get way too big. How big is this spider you ask? Well, let's just say that it's big enough that I wish that I was allowed to have a bb gun so that I could shoot it. And it would not be a very difficult shot. Though I will grant that that's not saying a lot, because I'm a pretty awesome shot with a bb gun. However, in this case I mean that the spider is freaking huge.

At any rate, I think that's all I have to say at the moment. We're still having fun over here. Have I mentioned lately that our job is super easy? It is. At any rate, that really is all I have. This is Captain Danger out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In Which I Lose Surprising Amounts of Weight

So I stepped on the scale again this morning. Nancy won't let me do it every day, she say's that's not healthy or something. Anyway, I stepped on it this morning. I weighed 101.8 kilograms! That's only 224 pounds! Before we left I generally weighed between 245 and 250, and up to 255 on a fat day. I've managed to lose like 25 pounds since we got here! I'm not sure how this happened. I mean, I'm not eating particularly healthy. For one thing, we get ice cream at the convenience store like three days a week. At least. I also generally eat most of a package of my-chews (they're like hi-chews, they're delicious) like every two days. So, I'm surprised that I keep losing weight, considering all they sugar we've been eating. I guess I can attribute it to a few things:
1. We generally eat smaller meals here. That's just how it turns out. It's always enough, it's just smaller than what we had at home.
2. If we are going to go anywhere, we pretty much have to walk or ride our bikes. I'll bet that contributes a lot.
3. We are going running probably about three days a week usually. Plus, I think running here is a better workout, because I sweat a LOT more.
4. I could be general water weight, since I'm rarely fully hydrated these days. Too much sweating. I'm hoping that won't be as big of a problem in the winter.

Anyway, so there's that. I'm not complaining. I'm actually quite pleased. I definitely feel a lot better lately, and I have more energy than I used to (though I've never been a particularly lethargic person). I don't think I really look any skinnier, or that my gut is any smaller, though. It makes me wonder where I'm losing it. Having a smaller gut would be awesome, though, because then I'll be able to fit through skinnier canyons when we get back to Utah.

In other news, I woke up early (5:45 am) on accident this morning. I mean, just the usual having to go to the bathroom. On my way back to bed, I made a half-awake decision to go and look outside. Not a mistake. The sunrise looked beautiful! It was lighting up these cool clouds just right, and it was awesome. I made a more awake decision to take some pictures, and then I went back to bed. Here are some pictures:

Yeah, we really live in a beautiful place. Granted, you could see this almost anywhere a lot of the time (and maybe not have to be up at 5:45 either), but the fact remains that we live in a really beautiful place. That being said, I make an end for this post. This is Captain Danger out.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In Which We Drag My Fat Butt Up An Oreum

Well, it looks like I did get back on here today. I'm cool with that. Like I think I mentioned in my last post, we decided not to hike Hallasan (the big mountain on the island and the tallest mountain in South Korea) today because visibility was poor. As the day wore on, that proved to be an excellent decision, as the top of the mountain ended up being covered in clouds. As an alternate, we rode our bikes a little way away and instead hiked up an Oreum in our neighborhood. In case you didn't know, an oreum is a parasitic volcanic cone that is near a real volcano. Jeju has, I believe, 368 of them, so you're never far from one. Also, they all have names. The one we went to today was called Min Oreum, and it was pretty fun. There was quite a bit of forest on it, and true to Southeast Asian form, a goodly number of stairs. We got there and I realized pretty quickly that I had forgotten to put the SD card back in my camera. So, we took pictures with my phone, which takes fine pictures, but they are pretty small. Maybe if I post them extra-large they will be big, but they may be fuzzy. I'll experiment. Anyway here are some pictures:

Starting up the hill


All of the parks in Korea have exercise equipment in them,
but this was the first time I've seen free weights. I did twenty
reps with it. It had ten kilograms on each side, so it was probably
like 50 pounds tops.

Endless staircase. Stairway to heaven?


Looking out over Shin(new) Jeju.

Looking out over Old Jeju (I don't know the Korean
word for old.).

They had more exercise equipment at the top.

Looking toward where Hallasan should be, if
all those stupid clouds weren't there.

On a side trail through the forest on the way back down.
So, it was pretty fun. I definitely managed to get drenched in sweat, so I'd say it was a productive hike. Overall, Korean hiking has proven (so far) to be much more about exercise than unadulterated nature, because there's definitely a whole lot of man-made stuff crammed into their nature. I can handle that, though. Also, I'm pleased to report that I hardly had any trouble at all on those stairs. I attribute it to my the fact that I've lost a bunch of weight here. It may also have something to do with the elevation. At any rate, that's about all I have for this post. This is Captain Danger out.