Jeju Island- Mt. Hallasan

This is my favorite tree. Mostly because of these cute leaves.

 The morning after the typhoon, it was a little damp but not too bad. We went to McDonald’s for breakfast and had pancakes for the first time in months, which was awesome! Landon ate 2 whole pancakes himself. Then we headed over to the Mt. Hallasan Eorimok trail for some hiking. Mt. Hallasan is the volcano from which the island of Jeju came to be. It is smack dab in the middle of the island and it is several km to the summit. We started out on the trail just kind of waiting to see how long we could go with Landon. We don’t have a hiking backpack and don’t want to cart one around everywhere- especially since he is so heavy that I wouldn’t want to ever wear the backpack. So we have to play it by ear every time.

This pretty bush was on the side of a run-off stream

As we neared the parking lot area, it got really foggy. It was not foggy in Jeju but I guess all the moisture made it incredibly foggy on the mountain. It was really creepy when we pulled into the parking lot and opened the doors and heard crows cawing and we couldn’t see anything in the fog.

My boys walking up the mountain.
Landon had fallen asleep as we drove up to the trailhead, so we put him in the stroller and decided to start that way. Well, we got about .5 km before the trail turned into stairs, so we abandoned the stroller on the side of the trail and started carrying him. He woke up, though so we started the walk a little, ride a little strategy. The fog and the green really made it seem, again, like a ride at an amusement park or something. It was beautiful and silent as we climbed, except for the occasional babbling brook that we had to cross over.

Taking a ride on mom’s back. 

About 2.5 km up the mountain was a sign saying potable water. The water we filled up with at the bottom of the trail was full of dirt, but this stuff up here was direct from a spring or something- it tasted wonderful and did not have any dirt. Landon was having a hard time riding on backs and walking so we decided to head back down. The trail for those 2.5 km was made up entirely of stairs, so we were pretty spent. The Koreans did not believe in switchbacks at all- it was just stairs up the mountain.

Landon at the watering spot, and his best Zoolander impression
Even at our stopping place it was foggy! We could not see a thing around us or down from us!

A combination of the exertion, humidity and water falling off the trees meant we were all soaked by the end!

This climate is technically “sub-tropical” because it snows on Mt. Hallasan in the winter.
There were not as many flowers as I would have expected, but there was this interesting mold

The picture above is a good idea of what this hike looked like. Stairs, lava rock, trees, bamboo and fog. Even though we did not get to see anything when we turned around, it was a fun hike just because we were together and chatting. Landon liked the babbling brooks, frequently calling them waterfalls and trying to kick his shoes off to step in the water. They were all small and the incline was too sharp to allow him to safely do this, which led to some struggles and bouts of carrying him around. 

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