Namsan Park

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.

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Hike from yesteryear…..

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.

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Path to Delicate Arch, Utah 12/2013

We won’t be going there…

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.

“The best hikes…..”

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.

twenty18 is over

I’m not a new year’s resolutions kind of person. It’s a good time for gyms to make a lot of money, but I have no interest in paying for a gym pass and not using it. When I have had a gym pass, I used it regularly.  I don’t want to get ripped. I just want to be physically fit every day of my life. When I was on the track team in 1990, I was ripped. I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that all my friends were faster than me and I could not keep up. Do you want to get fit? You don’t need to do something extraordinary. You don’t have to win any races or beat anyone. You just need to move. Walking is a great form of low impact exercise. Hiking is also a great form of low impact exercise. Biking is too!!! If you have weight to lose, it will come off if you stick to it. If you don’t have weight to lose, it will still benefit you. Make 2019 AWESOME!!!!

Utah hikes

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Emerald Pools in Winter. This hike is for most abilities and you won’t find a better one. Occasionally, I choose a different hike for a longer workout, but you cannot improve on this hike. It has a little water year round.  It is currently partially closed due to a rock slide. Hopefully it can be fixed by spring 2019.

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A few Zion locals

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Virgin River near the exit of the famous Narrows in Zion National Park

I’ve just spent a week at home in Utah, USA. I was there to visit my family, but I always manage to get in some nature hikes. I flew into Las Vegas and it was funny how small the skyline appeared in comparison to my Chinese city. I have been to Vegas innumerable times, but never really for any of the stuff it’s famous for. **usually just hitting the airport** Or… before internet shopping it was for actual shopping other than the small town stores’ slim pickings. Las Vegas is not just for losing money, it’s a great launching pad for awesome destinations. For me, it’s pretty much my airport of choice. It’s closer to my home and the famous Southern Utah parks than Salt Lake City.

And then what???

You quit your job to travel the world and then what? My blog is about a pretty mundane subject, but the years of blogging have come and gone. I know (in a way you know strangers on Instagram) some people who have “sold it all” and have zero sponsors after a long time. They quit their jobs. They sold their homes.  They cashed in on the equity in their house; their furniture, their clothes, their doodads, to travel. It sounds crazy! Cause it is!!!!! I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. Maybe they’ll get famous and it will all be made right.  Not likely!  It took us years to get where we are with our not so perfect furniture, but good career. I realized early on I couldn’t sustain any momentum to do what it takes. I’m not going to hike Kilimanjaro one day and follow it us with something better the next week. It’s too much. We had a trip to Chile planned for this summer, but our career sent us to China. I could have done both. Nobody was stopping me, but me. It’s no piece of cake to do what moving entails. Nope. I don’t want to throw a first trip to South America into the mix. I’ve been trying to go for 20 years. It will be or it will not be.  I tried a thousand times to use my funds from my Aeromexico flights that were going to go unused to no avail. I learned that I’m not going to book flights with them ever again because of the headache. My seats were empty, but they won’t get another dime from me.  Lesson learned!

Hiking in Grand Teton National Park

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Jenny Lake 

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The crowds really thinned out beyond the paved path, but it’s still a trail. 

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Jenny Lake adventurers

My cousins grew up in Wyoming so we grew up going to Jackson Hole. It was always cool, but now it’s very pricey. What you can do that won’t break the bank is go to the nearby National Park or watch an old West shootout.

 

WATER WATER WATER…. H20

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One of the 50% off items.

I don’t use a lot of specialty products, but water is quite necessary for any activity. I am buying these today. REI is having a good sale on Hydro Flask water bottles. Selected ones are 50% off for a very limited time.  I like hot things hot and cold things cold. I am getting one for each of my hikers in her own color so I don’t have to have any more fights over our boring black family ones. It will also be a great product to send them off to summer camp with in a few weeks. Just say NO  to throwaway water bottles clogging up landfills. REI SALE

 

The last day of twenty 17.

It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m a big partier. I’ll be watching Stranger Things tonight. My teen begged and begged us to get Netflix. I don’t watch much on tv, but we’ve been catching up on it during the Christmas break. I’m kind of into it. We already had a big walk today and went to church. 2017 was an awesome year. We woke up in Utah for a snowy hike on the first day of the year. Hiking is something most everybody can do. I like to emphasize that it takes NO skill. Everybody seems to need to be the best at something and a mountain really doesn’t care how fast you go up it. The same with a walking trail. Every town on the planet has a place to walk. I’ve walked in some of the most urban places and some of the most remote. You can find enJOYment in walking. I also biked this year in Central Park for the first time. You can circle the whole park without breaking a sweat on a nice temperate May day.  I enjoy a leisurely bike ride whenever possible and renting a bike on a trip is extra fun. I’m not going to be racing anybody. I’m out for the fresh air and a bit of physical fitness. I will definitely be finding some new and old hiking destinations in 2018. I hope you will too. Happy New Year!!!!

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We had a white Christmas in Boise, Idaho.