Motivated to make up the rest of my skipped distance, I went for a 4-hour walk this morning from 7AM to 11AM. I had the choice of walking north, back the way I came, or walking farther south to explore the upcoming terrain for tomorrow's walk. I went south.
Stats from the pedometer:
266 minutes walked
2639 calories burned (abt. 2150 net)
That's a brisk 108 steps per minute, and a suspiciously fast walking speed of 3.56 mph. I doubt I'm that fast, even unencumbered.
Without my backpack on, my legs actually felt a bit rubbery and shaky; they had grown used to having a few extra pounds' burden. At the same time, I walked much faster, at my normal 5-kph/3-mph rate. The path-- at least the first six miles of it-- was generally smooth, with gentle, negligible slopes instead of real hills.
There were more bikers on the path than I saw yesterday, but still not that many people, especially when compared to Day 2 of this journey. My lack of a backpack meant that people felt freer to ignore me; the percentage of people who returned my nodded greetings was decidedly lower. The backpack conveys authority and gravitas; it telegraphs a sense of commitment and mission, and without it, I am nothing.
Today was also a continuation of the experimental answer to the question, Can Kevin walk long distances a mere day after having walked a long distance? I believe the answer is yes, so I'm going to simply stick to my schedule as written, abusive though it be. That schedule again:
5/8, D17/L14, 16.6 mi., inn
5/9, D18/L15, 13.6 mi., inn (rain)
5/10, D19/L16, 22.79 mi., camp
5/11, D20/L17, 11.1 mi., camp
5/12, D21/L18, 22.98 mi., camp
5/13, D22/L19, 15.09 mi., camp
5/14, D23/L20, 23.2 mi., inn
5/15, D24/L20, 0.0 mi., inn (rest)
5/16, D25/L21, 16.94 mi., END
I'm thinking of these three long-mileage days as my three dragons. If I survive all three and stay on schedule, I'll finish the walk having delayed only one extra day. The middle dragon is the most worrisome because the hike on Day 22 isn't short: it's over 15 miles long, after which I attack the third dragon on Day 23: over 23 miles. I'll definitely need the rest on Day 24. My feet will doubtless thank me.
If I can survive May 10 through 14 with my feet still attached to my ankles, that will be enough. Based on what I've learned over the past two days, I think this is doable. And thanks to today's make-up walk, I'll be able to say I walked the whole distance (if not the whole way) from Seoul to Busan.
It occurred to me that the section I skipped includes, in its last part, that gulch where I met the cute puppy. I ought to pack some jerky to give the pooch if I see it again.