28 Years Later

Trip Start Oct 03, 2007
Trip End Oct 12, 2008

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Saturday, November 17, 2007

While many of you were unwinding on Friday night, I was just beginning my day on Saturday morning...

During the previous night I had enjoyed a wonderful birthday dinner with my co-workers.  Shabu-san is a Korean restaurant which offers the novelty of BBQ'ing your meal on a shovel.  It's pretty quirky, really fun, and absolutely delicious.  Long stings of adjectives aside - I spent the night undefeated in intense battles of rock, scissors, paper with the wait staff.  My reward?  Free drinks for the table (yes, the Koreans do love rock, scissors, paper this much.)

At some point during the week I'd decided to ring in my birthday with an early morning hike.  Now standing at the trail-head I was unsure.  It was below freezing and absolutely pitch black.  As my breath cascaded out in front of me, I weighed my options... and heard footsteps approaching from behind.  An old man passed by and soon vanished specter-like into the dark forest.  No flashlight for him; that was just as well - he had probably been hiking these paths since childhood.  It was a different story for me, and a sprained ankle wouldn't be a welcome start to my 28th year.

I looked to my right - there was a quiet, but constant rumble from the city interrupted only occasionally by an odd car horn.  Lights shone violet into the blackness, inviting me back to bed.  I looked to my left - animals brayed and crowed hauntingly from the nearby farming village.  Stars shone brightly.  Both places seemed so far away.  But the trail-head was here beneath me and I needed to make a decision.

Upon entering the forest the trees swished, rustling their leaves in the cold wind.  I suddenly remembered the burial plots, large mounds of earth along the sides of the path.  My heart started hammering as the forest swallowed me.  Yet I continued, reassured as my eyes adjusted to the darkness.  Now and then I would see the silhouette of the old man, treading along and then dissolving into darkness.

Soon I came across an overlook of the farm village which had seemed to be so far.  Tiny lanterns winked and shifted as though adrift.  Above the sky, which was washes of Indigo, seemed to pale with every passing minute... and soon twilight.

Happening across another overlook Daegu was awash in color.  It was absolutely beautiful, so I sat for a moment to enjoy it.
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cbar on

happy birthday!
happy birthday rich, what a great way to start your 28th year! i really liked your pictures in this post a lot

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