The Seoul Train bravoing my life...

Sojurning out of Seoul

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This past weekend (November 5th/6th) Jay and I took an Adventure Korea trip to Youngyang, Gyeongsangbuk Do, an area of Korea far removed from Seoul's bustling metropolis. The mountainous region, less than an hour from the East Sea/Sea of Japan, certainly lived up to the trip advertisement as being "one of the most beautiful parts of Korea with natural forests, fresh air, and scenic views."
Right, as if my travel experience in Korea gives me the authority to approve of that statement...
It turned out to be a perfect weekend to view the Autumn foliage. Magnificent fallesque hues of browning reds and vibrant yellows all set against a misty gray backdrop- the slightly chilled breeze, the buoyant air, etc. We built a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and then cooked sweet potatoes in the smoldering ashes.

Fallen leaves crunched under our feet during a Sunday morning hike down a mountain stream.
Negotiating the rocky stream bed proved to be quite a challenge. Beautiful fall leaves would rest in between rocks just on the surface of water, effectively masquarading as an acceptable place to step.
After a few missteps the mossy rocks covered with a thin film of misty rain started to look much more inviting as stepping stones.

What a beautiful leaf.

On this trip we carved Korean Totems. Here are some pictures:

Jay refused to give up the bark scraping tool. It must have taken her half an hour to remove all of the bark from that log. Notice the people behind her on the left. The group stood in wait for the tool, too intimidated to ask her to speed up. She was too absorbed in the process to even notice their fidgeting and disproving stares.
Meanwhile, I found the scene quite amusing.

Jay posing for a picture immediat- ely after the cessation of our 5 hours bus ride out to Youngyang. Several minutes later she had a sharp bark peeling tool in her hands.

Mr. Portland, on the left, and myself hacking away at our meticulou- sly scraped stump in an attempt to bring "Jovial Radison" to life. We decided that our caricature face did not have the ability to ward off evil spirits from remote Korean villages- definitely looked more like a smiling cigarette, we thought, and so as such the stump was christened. In this rural Korean village safety regulations were not necessary. Sharp chisels, large and small axes were casually distributed. Most of the village Ajushis wielded chainsaws (behind me to my left an elderly man was chainsaw-sculpting the teeth of a totem pole caricature- wood chips mercilessly spraying those in the vicinity). I think Jay had also resumed scraping- reacquiring the tool from the other group- the bottom half of the stump (not being satisfactorily smooth)- never mind that my butt is right there on the log. She didn't notice. Alas, out of all the participants I was the only one to walk away slightly injured as I managed, in my artistic trance, to chisel away part of my index finger.

The end result.

Im sure the villagers have since used it for firewood.

Yes, my readership- my hair is substantially shorter.
Never let your girlfriend cut your hair.

You learn something everyday.

Credit given where credit is due. Jay took all the good pictures on the trip. Mountain stream, 영양 Korea.

This is one of my favortie photos. Taken in the back of a korean pickup truck (a bongo), in the rain in 영양.

1 Responses to “Sojurning out of Seoul”

  1. Anonymous mcdfaline 

    Jay gets my vote as hairstylist extrodinaire and expert bark scraper. What a wonderful fall excursion. Send more adventures soon!

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