I recently spent 30 hours in Seoul. I expected to shop and see city sites, but I didn’t expect to need many more hours of free time for hiking. I didn’t know much of what I would see in Seoul beyond the bright lights and big city. It turns out our accommodations were up in the hills near Namsan Park. We woke up in a forest covered with mist. After foraging at the closest convenience store for some afforable breakfast options, we went into the park. It wasn’t just any park. It was beautiful place on a mountainside. There were people around, but it was peaceful. We really didn’t have much time to see it, but it was calling me to abandon my flight and hike all the trails. Seoul is a worthwhile destination.
We went to Utah and I almost didn’t hike at all. Practically upon arrival, my daughter got her wisdom teeth removed and other stuff took over. Luckily, I booked tickets to do a hike so it happened. Why would you need to book a hike? Because instafame nearly devastated my childhood friends’ small community. They took action and now limit the people. The process was simple. $12 per person with a 150 per day limit. http://www.kanarrafalls.com It’s not a hike for all abilities as there is some challenging terrain, but I’m happy to report I saw no evidence of the instafame trash that came as a result of the need to regulate this paradise.
The internet has changed the world. It isn’t all great. More of us spent our childhoods cruising our neighborhoods on our bikes in the olden days USA. We even had a bike trailer with 2 seats and we would charge kids to give them rides around our neighborhood. We always made enough money to go blow it all at the store on…. CaNdY! One thing was sure was that anyone who could be on the cover of a magazine had to be really tall and unnatural to most people THIN. Enter the new age……. Body positivity is the new Vogue. (vogue.vogue.vogue.) Nike, the athletic brand of brands, just unveiled new mannequins to fit the new world. They are (gasp!) not stick thin or extremely chiseled. I think it is awesome. I have never been on the bigger side. I also have never been tall nor had abs of steel though. I once read that if I totally altered my diet, then my 300+ sit-ups a day would be visible. Um… NOPE. My diet is just fine. I’m not going to drink some chemical concoction to achieve that. The internet has a lot to dislike, but the fact that there is more inclusivity and representation nowadays is so cool. Instagram did that. There is garbage there, be SURE. BUT it is important to be positive about the 1 body YOU get.
We just moved. It involved no furniture, but it was a back breaking day from Hell. Since the move was from one rental to another, it didn’t involve much emotional stress. You don’t get too attached to renting afterall. The reason for moving was that my children had a lengthy commute to school. Although I have now spent portions of my life in various big cities around the globe, I consider myself a small town girl. I do not enjoy commuting long distances and they had what to me was an unacceptably long city commute. At one point, I changed jobs to have a shorter commute from what would be a dream commute to some city dwellers. It was many years ago in Salt Lake City. This is a city of 6 million and that is not big in China. It can get a lot bigger. I am able to bike to the beach regularly now. It has been super fun. It is going to get busy soon, but it’s very peaceful and beautiful right now.
I have a newish phone. Since I am technologically inept, my husband set some stuff up for me and I now have access to some of his old photos. I either hadn’t seen them in a while or had never seen them ever. This child of mine has informed me that she won’t be doing any hiking with me this summer. When you have children and teenagers, in particular, you have to pick your battles. Since I am from the other side of Southern Utah, we rarely make it over to this territory. I really want to make a jaunt over there, but I probably won’t. I don’t like crowds and there is plenty for me to see at home. The Moab area has always received a lot of attention, but it used to be very dead in the offseason. With the advent of social media, there may be no more offseason.
I am not talking about the kind we talk about in my church regularly. That is a whole other subject. Everyone has been lost in that way before at some point. I am talking about you don’t know where you are. LOST! Once upon a time, I was an ambitious intern. Well, not as ambitious as some of my fellow interns who got to work at the Supreme Court or caring for the Clintons’ cat (It was 1996.) or other places that they deemed cooler than our internships, but an intern nonetheless. I met a lifelong friend the moment I walked into my housing and with our “lesser than” internships, we had an AWESOME summer. My friend got asked to housesit for a week and she took the job only if they took me on too. That weekend morning, I arose and went for a walk. I love walking. I’m sure that is not obvious. I did not wake my friend to tell her I was leaving. It was before cell phones and constant connectivity. It was a beautiful Maryland summer morning. Everything was complete perfection. I was in a residential area with some of Washington DC’s chicest homes. I walked for a while then it started to get warm. I could have kept on going, but I had no provisions. I needed to turn back. The only problem is that I didn’t know the way OR the address where I was staying. Before panic sunk in too bad, I remembered I had seen a street sign with my beloved home state on my morning trek. I backtracked until I found the UTAH street sign and prayed to find my way back. I was sooo happy to get back to that house.
Let me tell you about someone who made an impact. In 1986, I started middle school. My mom made me signup for orchestra. I wanted to take art class! She had previously made me take piano lessons and I sucked. I literally sucked through a few years of lessons. I could not read music. I chose the viola. I don’t know why. Probably cause I didn’t want to be there and it wasn’t the violin. I didn’t know anything much about the violin either. The class turned out not to be so bad. The teacher was an OLD lady who was nice. She had wrinkles and she was beautiful. She would walk around the room and tune our instruments before we started playing. I can NOT fathom how bad that awful racket must have sounded, but we were in a soundproof room so everyone else was spared. We started by plucking our instruments. I had a severely broken arm from an old school summer and even started playing with a cast beyond my elbow. As time went by, the jumbled up stuff on the page started to come together. We were making music.
In 7th grade, I decided I was enjoying it and I needed to improve. I asked my orchestra teacher who could teach me private viola lessons. I started taking lessons with another awesome teacher and improved beyond my imagination. Each year, we moved up with the same teacher. It was a small town. She drove to the high school for half of her day to also teach there. Soo she was also my high school teacher. My sophomore year, I left for study abroad. Upon return, it was back to orchestra. We took state that year. That means we had an awesome performance at a statewide competition. We didn’t let down our little town where we didn’t have the best of anything, but we had the best arts programs. That same year in 1992, we took an orchestra trip to Disneyland. We had a master class with a pro musician aka the rare paid unicorn. We couldn’t wait to ditch the playing for the rides. Our teacher was there by our sides for the fun too. I don’t know how she kept up with us, but she did. After the school days were over, I probably only saw her once. She was a bit stooped over but looked the same. She was still as beautiful as ever and had a smile and a hug for her former student. The effects of her teaching reach far and wide. I doubt much of what fast money that people aspire to achieve these days will leave the impact she did and what some good teachers do. RIP JUNE THORLEY 1928-2019
We like to travel, but my husband didn’t want to go to China. The Great Wall was on my life to do list though. Well, when work moved us here that is how I knew I’d definitely be finally seeing it. It is much less commitment to just come on a ten-day tour to China! This portion of the wall is on the border with North Korea. It is in Dandong, China. Most Western tourists will see the wall on their Beijing stop. Beijing is not near here at all. Obviously, I like hiking but some of the stair climbing on this had me scared and breathless. It is not suitable for everyone, but there are portions anyone could do. The stairwells easily rivaled any scary European ones we had climbed up. It took us about 2 hours to do the entire Dandong wall. There was an entry fee of around $10 / 60 RMB per person. It was a really fun day trip from our current home.
I was just on booking dot com looking for some future accommodations today and I came across an article that I had to read. The 5 best hikes in the world Wow. What will they include? Five is sure a small number. I go to the list and I have only loosely heard of one particular destination. That isn’t to say that the other ones are not epic, but insert eye roll. I don’t need some list. Is someone going to give me a medal cause I have done their particular list? I want my 5 best readers to know that the hike YOU do is the very best one. You don’t need to go anywhere special to do it. You do it where you are. Disclaimer: if you are from somewhere flat like Kansas where my dad is from, then you may need to actually go somewhere. My general definition of hiking includes a bit of varied terrain and elevation change. Anyway, you can go on a hike NOW. (If not, you can highly likely go on a WALK.) If you want to add some random BEST to a future list, great! But don’t choose only to do something if the circumstances are perfect. Get out and sweat a little or a ton and get some fresh air.
I recently read this as a comment somewhere referring to exercise. It caused me to ponder the why…..?…. Maybe because it is something that most everyone does so it is rarely intentional. You join a gym, pay your activation fee, your monthly fees, etc…. Because you have spent A LOT of money, you just know you are FINALLY going to get fit. Those $1000 sign-up fees will guarantee your success. I always thought it would be rather exciting to join a gym. ****I have since joined a few. ***** I came from a small town and the only ones I had used were at my high school (in a scary basement on dirt!!!) or at college in the 90s. Today’s college gyms are a little different. Think: NICER. It was fun at a “real” gym for a few years. I attended lots of dance and yoga classes. I still can’t dance, but I was at the epicenter of the Zumba craze. (In the back looking very dorky!!!!!) After pondering the above question coupled with a book I just read called Predictably Irriational by Dan Ariely I am going to surmise it is because we don’t value what we don’t pay a lot for. In order to make walking cool, it is time to charge people a lot for it. LOL