Cheonryangsan청량산

​Family road trip day 2: hiking at Cheongnyangsan 청량산. Whoo! Our first big hike with Jigu, and my first big one since just before she was born, six months ago today. It was glorious. Started out near a sparkling frozen waterfall. Golden winter light slanting through the trees, illuminating and enchanting the landscape. Nothing in nature is just ordinary. The smallest sprout or fluffy seed head is awe inspiring in moments like this. Cold fresh air in my lungs and baby sleeping warm and tight against my chest. 

Steep uphill and of course stairs, when we come unexpectedly upon a tiny mountainside village (maybe four small homes, in all). No access road, but satellite dishes and fields for planting. Reminded me of Nepal, where homesteads and villages are found nestled deep in the mountains, miles and miles from any drivable roads. Though they showed signs of recent activity, no people were there when we passed through. We allowed this discovery to take us on a detour, taking the cross-mountain path past orchard with bare branches, a pot and pan dangling in the music of the wind to scare off the birds. The trail got sketchier as we went along; piles of loose stones under dry leaves, and a narrow path on the edge of a steep slope… No room for inattentive walking. Concentrating on each step, we eventually made it to a road up to the temple. 
Took a break and switched baby and backpack carrying duty, and thank goodness! After the temple it was stairway to heaven… Up and up and up. My legs are still feeling the burn. At the top we were met with some snow and an absolutely stunning skybridge. Incredible views and exhilarating winter wind. Fantastic! I even found someone’s New Years wishes tied to a shredded purple helium balloon. 
1. Do good work

2. Gratitude for everything 
I wonder where the balloon was released. 
Had to again concentrate on our careful steps as we started descent in the snow, but step by step we made it down in time for a beautiful sunset. After a hike I am always buzzing with a natural high… Feeling tired, stronger, more relaxed and more expansive in mind. Super grateful for my incredible hiking buddies! 
When we got to our pension 휴펜션, after being greeted by the extremely kind and friendly proprietress who not only gave us free rice but also kimchi jjigae, Jigu was the only one with energy left. We had to set an 11pm alarm just to drag our tired selves outside to check out the predicted meteor shower (did not see many, but it was still great to stargaze). 
I highly recommend this hike! Maybe Seoul Hiking Group will come here in the future. Here’s to more hiking in 2017!

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