Friday night; might as well hop a midnight bus to Juwangsan with Seoul Hiking Group! In the wee hours of the morning we arrived at Lake Jusanji to find a nearly full moon illuminating our path before us. A short 30 minute hike brought us to the lakeshore where we found a light mist gliding over the surface of the lake. A few of us broke out sleeping bags and napped as the chilly morning air combined with a slowly moving morning sun. We lingered a few moments after the sun rose capturing the serenity of this picturesque lake featured in Korea’s famous film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. If you get to the bottom you’ll even find a fun video of the whole excursion!
Next up was a short bus ride to the “long hike” through the waterways beneath Gamebong, one of Juwangsan’s sister peaks. The flat path switched back and forth along the river as we splashed our way along. Despite the pristine beauty surrounding us Juwangsan proved to be the emptiest Korean National Park I’ve been to yet.
I ran across the other side to snap photos of everyone crossing when suddenly I heard a scream! Turns out a member of our party happened upon a swimming snake; Warren warned us that they were likely venomous so we kept our distance. Sort of. A go pro on a selfie pole kept scaring it towards the rest of our cameras and it seemed particularly keen on heading in my direction. Luckily we were able to keep our distance in spite of its speedy swimming and snapped some splendid shots!
Continuing along our trek we quickly came across another baby snake scooting along above the water. He was much more timid and just hid in the brush as we passed. The chilly river water flowed freely down the rocks creating a beautiful series of waterfalls. It was tempting to take a dip but we continued onward eager to reach the summit and break for a snack.