It took me forever to strike camp this morning. I need to improve my takedown skills, especially with this unwieldy bivy sack. By the time I got moving, it was already 7:20AM. I was an hour late.
Today's walk was supposed to be short, but there were a couple pit stops and detours that unnecessarily lengthened the trip. I also think I lost my trowel through the big hole in the bottom of my backpack. Another fallen piece of equipment.
Hills weren't much of a problem today, but tomorrow's walk, my second dragon, has at least one frightening-looking uphill that's going to leave me winded. I'm miffed that no one wrote anything about the perils that come after the Saejae trail. I thought the Nakdong River portion of my trip was going to be one long, smooth downhill glide. How wrong I was.
Finding today's campsite was an adventure. I tired myself out walking through lots of tall grass, that spam haiku about the spam soaring over the pampas going through my head. The first site I found was in the midst of tall grass; it turned out to be a bad site, especially after I found a better one with direct access to the river for water-foraging purposes.
My water-related equipment is all getting a thorough workout. I use my plastic bottles and my trekking pole to fetch river water; I disinfect the water with my tablets, then I run the water through my Grayl filter. The result is pure, clean, and drinkable. That said, the Grayl is labor-intensive, as you have to press down on it with your bodyweight to filter the water through the French-press-style cartridge. And because the filter is so nano-fine, it clogs easily, which slows filtration and makes it even more laborious.
A small deer burst out of its hiding place when I was searching for my second campsite. Later this afternoon, when I was settling in, I heard the sounds of a predator chasing its prey. I think something caught a deer; the noises I heard were strange and primal. What predators are out there?
I did end up walking a bit ahead, so tomorrow's walk will be closer to 19 miles instead of 22. It's going to rain, and I've got that hill to worry about, so it's still going to suck, and I'm not looking forward to this segment. Nevertheless, the dragon must be defeated.
I'm writing this while half inside my bivy. Surprisingly few insects are bothering me. I hear occasional splashes from the river; when I talked to my boss this evening, I joked that he shouldn't be surprised if I get eaten by a river monster.
To get a head start tomorrow, I'll be waking up at 4AM. Given my slow prep time, I expect to be on the road by about 5:30AM. The rain isn't going to hit until about 9AM, so I'll get a few hours' walking in before the shit hits the fan. At least the weather will be cool.
Some pedometer stats:
310 minutes walked
2364 calories (more like 1800)
Hope you enjoyed the panorama shots. I'll do more as I'm able.