A Rambler’s Résumé

Buck Mountain Trail, Lake George, NY, Winter 2014

Buck Mountain Trail, Lake George, NY, Winter 2014

I glean the posts on my blog from my modest but ever-growing store of walking adventures, highlights of which include: USA

  • Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain to 501 Shelter, Pennsylvania, Summer 2004
  • Appalachian Trail, 501 Shelter to Katahdin, Maine, Summer 2006
  • Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania: a two-day solo “thru-hike” following the course of the battle, 2006
  • Long Trail, Vermont, end-to-end, 2006
  • Pacific Crest Trail, Campo, California to the Oregon-Washington border, 2010 (Yes! The entire state of Washington remains!)
  • John Muir Trail, 211 miles, end-to-end (Mt Whitney summit–Yosemite), 2010
  • The Great Saunter, a 32-mile loop of the island of Manhattan, New York, 2013, in about 11 hours
  • The Saratoga Battlefield, in Upstate New York, site of a crucial Revolutionary War clash: one Summer circuit, and one in Winter on snowshoes
  • A couple of snowshoe rambles on frozen Moreau Lake
  • The Adirondacks, New York: a mere dabble so far, largely in the extreme south-eastern corner of this very large park. But Kate and I are continuing our explorations here, which so far have included…
  • Four of the High Peaks (Macomb, East and South Dix and Hough Peak)
  • Buck Mountain
  • Black Mountain
  • Hadley Mountain
  • Thomas Mountain in the Tongue Mtn Range
  • Two hikes up Fifth Peak, one in the dark with fellow drunks following the wedding of friends The Dude & Trouble; one with Kate
  • Two hikes on the Western Ridge Trail near Corinth, one with Dude & Trouble, one with Kate
  • Many, many miles of road-walking in the Saratoga Springs area
  • Some serious miles of end-to-end rambling in Central Park, Manhattan, NYC

Devil’s Den, Gettysburg

AUSTRALIA

  • Daily walks averaging about 7 miles around the waterfront area of Sandgate, on Moreton Bay, north of Brisbane, one highlight of which was…
  • My Thousand Mile Challenge: 16 weeks of GPS-logged local strolling/death-marching, reaching the magic figure in December 2011 (I’m currently working on my second TMC)
  • Lots of urban walking in downtown Brisbane, concentrating on the river banks in this the “River City”
  • South Coast Track, Melaleuca to Cockle Creek, Tasmania, solo
  • The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria, 104km, solo
  • The Grampians, Victoria
  • Two ascents of Mt Barney, Queensland
  • Several hikes up Mt Warning, New South Wales
  • Green Mountains & Lamington National Park, including part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Queensland
  • Girraween National Park, Queensland
  • Brisbane Forest National Park, Queensland
  • Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, including Mts Ngungun, Beerburrum, & Tibrogargan
  • Mt Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
  • Moreton Island National Park, Queensland, world’s 3rd-largest sand island, once down the middle, one loop of the southern part of the island, and two complete circumambulations via its beaches, clock- and counter-clockwise
  • Sundown National Park, Queensland

Taking a break, Moreton Island

SWITZERLAND

  • Grindelwald area including the base of the Eiger
  • Fürenalp
  • Zermatt and surrounds in the Matterhorn region
  • Rigi Kulm, summit of Rigi, “Queen of Mountains”, to Lucerne
  • Sattel Hochstuckli
  • Zugerberg, mountain trails overlooking the Zugersee
  • Raten to Baar
  • The Urnersee (arm of the Vierwaldstättersee, or Lake Lucerne), complete circuit via the Weg der Schweiz (Swiss Path)
  • The Zugersee (Lake Zug), complete circuit
  • Melchsee Frutt
  • Hunenberg, Wart, and numerous farmland rambles near Zug
  • Lugano via Lake Lugano to Monte Brè summit and down to Lugano
  • Numerous urban walks in old cities including Chur, Fribourg, St Gallen, Basel, Zurich and Neuchâtel

Melchsee Frutt, Switzerland

JAPAN

  • 40+ day-hikes up Takao-San, a sacred mountain in Tokyo prefecture
  • Hōōzan, South Alps
  • Dozens of hikes in the Chichibu, Tanzawa and Okutama regions on the outskirts of Tokyo
  • Two multi-day explorations of the Izu peninsula south-west of Tokyo
  • Three hikes up Amagi-Yama, highest peak on the Izu Peninsula
  • Fuji-San, 3,776m, highest peak in Japan, base to summit over 21 hours
  • Several ascents of Ōyama, sacred peak in Kanagawa prefecture
  • Two hikes up Tōnodake, 1,491m, Tanzawa
  • Kamikochi to Mt Yari, 3,180m, solo
  • Solo North Alps traverse, Murodo to Kamikochi, over several of the highest peaks in Japan, including Tsurugi-Dake, Mt Yari, and Okuhotaka-Dake
  • Shirouma-Dake (Hakuba), 2,932m, and other peaks, multi-day solo hike
  • Kita-Dake, 3,193m, 2nd-highest Japanese peak, and other South Alps peaks on a multi-day solo hike
  • Two overnight hikes up Kumotoriyama, highest peak in Tokyo prefecture
  • Several walks in the Kamakura area, ancient capital with its amazing Daibutsu, the giant Buddha, and a multitude of temples and trails
  • Long rambles among ancient temples and shrines in another ancient capital, Kyoto
  • Lots of rambling around the major city of Nagoya
  • Surrounds of Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture, and two of its famous islands, Fukuura-jima and Ō-jima
  • Numerous long urban walks including two following the Chuo train line for several hours into the heart of Tokyo
  • Twice following a section of the ancient Tōkaidō road through forest near Hakone
  • An 11-day solo road trek on a badly injured leg from Sapporo to Sōunkyō Onsen, Hokkaido
  • 30-day near-circuit of Shikoku, smallest of the four main Japanese islands, including an ascent of Mt Tsurugi, visits to several of the temples on the 88-Temple Pilgrimage (Shikoku Junrei (四国巡礼) and a source-to-sea trek following the Shimanto-gawa, the only remaining un-dammed river in Japan
  • A three-day return to Tokyo in September 2013 I nicknamed Peaks & Pilgrimage 2013, revisiting old favourites like Mt Takao and Kawanoriyama in Okutama (slept on the top), numerous downtown one-time hangouts, plus a new hike up Mt Mitsutouge for some views of Fuji-San

Waiting for a bus home, Izu

KOREA Home until the end of 2013. 115 walks here for my first year’s tour of duty (stopped counting and paper-journalling in my second year as this blog became my journal), from “real” hikes to urban rambles to combinations, including…

  • The Chonggye Stream in the heart of Seoul & more urban rambling on a short trip including Nam-San & An-San.
  • Numerous walks in & around the amazing 2nd city of Busan 
  • The coastal strip of famed beaches including Gwangalli, Haeundae & Songjeong
  • The mountainous outskirts of the city of Daegu
  • Two trips to the ancient capital of Gyeongju & the sacred hills of Namsan
  • Gwangju, scene of massacres of student protesters in the ’80s
  • Hills surrounding my own city of Gimhae in the south-east
  • A winter visit to Jeju Island
  • The port town of Tongyeong & an offshore island
  • Multiple hikes and camp-outs on Bulmo-San & the small mountains around my town of Jangyu
  • The “Goat Killer Trail”, my 300-mile+ 12-day improvised summer-vacation road-walk up the east coast from Haeundae Beach, Busan to the northern city of Sokcho
  • Daecheong-Bong, 3rd-highest peak in Korea, and trails surrounding it in Seorak-San over three days of Autumn walking
  • An unfeasibly, ridiculously large number of pre-dawn weekend walks along the creek and between the rice paddies of Jangyu and Yulha, not far from my apartment
burial mound

Royal burial mound, Gyeongju

34 Comments

  1. Mate, this list of walks is starting to sound legendary. I’m feeling a touch of hiking inadequacy as I reminisce about a couple of hikes on my blog that are only about 300 metres in length. The question is what sort of job allows you to vanish for days on end hiking? Can you let me in on the secret?!

    • Heheh, nothing wrong with 300m hikes – depends what’s on the end! I teach English as a foreign language. That explains all the early Japan stuff, as I taught there for three years and got obsessed with mountains. Now I teach in Brisbane – not great $, little job security, but a BIG plus is that I leave quite often and go on big adventures, then come back and get re-hired. I don’t know why they rehire me…I wouldn’t.

      But I envy the comprehensive way you’ve covered your own state. I haven’t seen anywhere near enough of mine, but starting to change that. I will hit you up for ideas when next venture to Victoria.

  2. Seungjae Yeon says

    산양님, so glad to see my country through your eyes and mind^^ keep encouraging you go to correspond for others in the world. Now I’m in Aussie so your writing is emotional for me!

    • Ha, thanks, Seungjae. Hope you’re enjoying Australia. Yes, it’s very rewarding to change roles and locations for a while — I’ve taught thousands of Korean students in Australia over the years.

  3. What an incredible list! I’ll definitely be back soon to read more, especially about Korea, since I’m here for the next month. I love what I’ve read so far — had no idea reading about gear could be so interesting. Happy walking!

    • No worries, Grace. I’ll be looking at your blog as well today. Any questions I can help you with, don’t hesitate to ask. Unless they’re about food — I’d be no use at all. Well, maybe Snickers bars…

  4. I am impressed Goat. I’ve hiked the JMT several times as well as done many sections of the PCT in California, including packing from Squaw Valley to Mt. Whitney to celebrate my 60th birthday. I’ve also backpacked in Alaska, the Rockies and on the Appalachian Trail. It’s obvious you are a hikers hiker… enjoying your blogs…

    • Thanks so much, Curtis! Your resume is nothing to sneeze at either. I was really glad to do the whole JMT, though it made for a challenging day doing one last section by myself in considerable snow!

  5. operationalextras says

    Love the Blog cant wait to dig in a great documetaion of a Adventures life Thanks
    M/BK

  6. Thanks for visiting. Your blog is amazing, you’re so sportive!I look forward to following your site!
    Good walking! :-)
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Love DIna

    • I did, Dina, thanks. It was a fantastic weekend, with some walking on both days, music, art, photography, coffee (too much coffee…) and friendship. Wish they were all like that — no wait, they usually are!

    • Well, let’s see — there is a chance (between you and me) I might find myself rather closer to Canada next year than I am right now… I have been to Canada a couple of times but have never done much walking there. That must change, of course!

  7. great site. Love the Trail Treasures especially (and your heroes and dubious types). Respect to Goat, from Wolf (of the cheese variety).

  8. The Cougar says

    Well, this is an impressive list. As for me, I walk the canyons of Manhattan in stilletos but did recently read “Wild” about Cheryl Strayed’s hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Great read!

    • Thank you, that book is on my list — and walking Manhattan’s peripheries was one of my best urban expeditions. Can’t wait to explore that area some more.

  9. Whoa! That’s quite a list! I love a good walk for the scenery and sounds of nature and thought you might enjoy William Lindesay’s book “Alone on the Great Wall.” In it he recounts his 2470 km solo adventure across China just one decade after the Cultural Revolution. It’s a great read. Several years ago my husband and I had the pleasure of walking a remote section of the Great Wall with Mr. Lindesay and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. Cheers!

    • Thanks a million for the book idea — sounds great. I kinda collect books about long-distance walking. Never seen the Great Wall but it does sound like it lends itself to a long stroll…

  10. Makes my walks look like a short stroll! All power to your hiking boots…you have a wonderful walking history and a expectation of more to come.

  11. Wow! Impressive and inspiring! I’ve not done any long walks yet, but I’m planning to. I also teach English as a foreign language which does make traveling and finding causal work easier, the freedom of which I think more than makes up for the lack of security and poor pay. What’s your inspiration? What made you start doing these huge walks? You’ve really clocked up some miles! Blessings, H xxx

    • Hey Harula, thanks for the nice comments.Yes, EFL/ESL/TESOL/WTF has served me well over the last 14 years, and has enabled me to live in a few interesting places, plus quit and move on without feeling like I’m damaging my career prospects (ha!). But it’s time I broke free — Korea killed it for me, but I was close to cracking years ago! As for what to replace it with: no idea! How liberating! How terrifying!

      It was Japan that got me into walking, and then longer walking (thanks again, English teaching!). Mountains were a refuge and an adventure after endless days of teaching (non-) conversation to wrung-out salarymen, flirty housewives and terrified schoolkids, not to mention the controlled madness of Tokyo — which I still love, bizarrely. And then I read ‘A Walk in the Woods’ and learned about the Appalachian Trail, and I just got going and kept going…

  12. Impressive trail of trails! I put a link in my blog to your blog and the photo of your backside trekking down the highway. You can see it at the bottom of my post “From the Backside”. It’s about perspective or point of view in art, inspiring readers to photograph or draw portraits from the backside or uncommon views. Happy trails! Kay skybluedaze.wordpress.com

  13. Oh wow. You walked Busan to Sokcho. Epic. I saw a guy here in Korea walking Sokcho to Busan when I was cycling the east coast leg of my travels here.

    I am currently in Busan. It’s raining so am surfing the net. Hoping to spend a few days hiking some places here before I return to Oz. They look pretty nice. Hopefully the rains stop.

    Do you have any recommendations for the two best day hikes here in Busan? I am here until Sunday but tomorrow (Wednesday) it will rain again so I will wait it out.

    • Andrew, welcome to Busan! Yes, my walk up the Korean coast (on the blog under “Goat Killer Trail”) is actually one of the two adventures (the other is my as-yet-unblogged walk along the length of the Shimanto River in Shikoku) of which I’m most proud, as they were mine, no predecessors (at least none I could find online), no info, no maps, little planning, and 100% off-trail and original. I still think about it a lot, fondly, although there was a fair bit of suffering especially near the end. It was that trip that opened my eyes to a gentle, pleasant Korea that didn’t annoy me all the time!

      Man, I did a lot of walking in Busan and a few possibilities are: Cross the bridge to Yeong-Do (island) and climb the mountain there – there’s also a nice coastal path over there and a lighthouse etc.

      Another is to climb (or get a cable car I think) up the mountain to Geumjeong Fortress. A nice walk once you get up there — maybe even some autumn leaves, or perhaps too early? But anyway a nice path up there along the old walls.

      There’s also Jangsan. And definitely check out the fish market area at Jagalchi, right downtown. It stinks, but is fascinating! While there, with the sea at your back, look towards the city and on the extreme left there’s a small mountain you can walk to from the markets. Climb up via a couple of temples and you’ll get a fantastic view of the harbour, Yeong-Do etc.

      Oh, and highly recommended for a day trip by train is the U.N. War Cemetery. As an Australian, you’ll be moved by the large Aust presence there (not living Australians, if you know what I mean). It’s a beautiful place, very peaceful, and you might be in the mood for some peace after a stay in Busan…

      All of these are mentioned on my blog if you do a key-words search.

      • Thanks for the tips. I will do a search on your blog. I looked today but was doing it between other things (like eating fried chicken and silkworm lavae)

      • Silkworm larvae, yes. Maybe I should have taken a chance, and a bite, while I had the opportunity. Hmmm…no.

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