The Caterpillar and Totem Pole Mountain
Subway: Seoul National University (Line 2)
Distance hiked: 8.25 km (together with Samseongsan)
Another mountain with an ‘ak,’ and I am bracing myself for trouble. But Gwanaksan proves to be a beautiful hike that isn’t too difficult—it’s just huge. I especially love the jangseung (Korean totem poles) in the early part of my hike. Spring has officially come, and so has the caterpillars that hang in front of me and crawl on the trees. I do not know much about what each is for, but I love this one that reminded me of a Y chromosome.
As it is a huge mountain, though not quite so high, Gwanaksan is still a chore to hike. I love trekking through black boulders that look as through an earthquake made them fall there centuries ago. I laugh when see an ad for an apartment building taped on one of them. This is the longest hiking day I have had, as I see that I have hiked more than eight kilometers. Towards the end, I am on the brink of collapse, but it is done.