What is Peaks and Penguins?
This is an ultra-running, nature-loving, plant-eating travel adventure blog. It’s about mountains and animal habitats, human-powered exploring and appreciation for lovely landscapes.
What you’ll find on Peaks and Penguins is a mixture of animal encounters, pretty plant photographs, tales from trails, and worldwide wanderlust. I write (at length) about my personal experiences and try to provide (some) practical details for fellow adventurers. There are stories from my current home base in South Korea and from all around the world! Adventures on this blog are active: hiking, biking, paddling and running are my favorite ways to travel!
Here are some examples of the kind of thing Peaks and Penguins is all about:
All around Olle – a circumnavigation of Jeju Island’s
A tale of two ultras
Who is Peaks and Penguins?
I’m Carrie! I’m the author and main photographer behind the blog. I write constantly and compulsively: archiving fleeting moments and recording scenes, online, offline, on scraps of paper and in notebooks and on the backs of my hands. I also love taking photos of awe-inspiring landscapes and creatures that I meet on my journeys. I’m a planner of long trips (and a spender of savings), a sucker for complicated logistics, a snack monster and the organizer of the training schedules.
But I don’t explore alone! My husband/best friend/adventure partner Kent joins me on epic runs and round-the-world trips. He brings the fun, encourages us to take down time for relaxing, is an outstanding chef and runs super fast up hills. He also captures beautiful scenes, especially videos, panoramas and, due to my inability, every selfie we take.
Together, we’re KnC Team North America: a couple of animal-loving adventurers testing the limits of our endurance on epic runs, and our wallets on big trips.
Where is Peaks and Penguins?
We’re currently based in South Korea. As such, you can find a lot of posts about adventures in South Korea on this blog!
Living here has allowed us to explore every national and provincial park (explore them with us here!), run some of the best and toughest trails, trek all around its islands, and cycle coast-to-coast across this rugged peninsula. I’m completely in love with my adopted home, and want to show you how much fun can be had in this still-secret gem of a country. There’s a reason we’ve stuck around as long as we have! There’s also something for everyone here, from shopping, cuisine and clubbing in the cities; to quiet temple retreats, solitary trails and craggy windswept peaks. I can’t say I’m much of an expert on the former, but the latter is my life. South Korea is a mecca for trail running in a mountain paradise, with bonus beaches and biking. My hope is that maybe some images or stories from this blog will inspire you to plan a trip or a stop-over here.
But there are stories from other ‘wheres’ too. We’ve traveled to 40 countries together so far, so you can also discover African animals, the Andes and the Amazon of South America, or peaks across Asia with us.
Why Peaks and Penguins?
There are several answers to this question – or rather, several ways of interpreting and answering this question. I’ll address two of them here.
Why a blog?
For three main reasons:
First, I want to be able to tell my stories in my own way. Too many words and all.
Second, to make sharing easier! Kent and I spent several years sending stories to our friends and families, inbox to inbox. But with mounting numbers of photos to share, email started to feel inefficient. I wanted to find a streamlined way telling tales and presenting pictures.
And finally, because over the past several years, we’ve had so many adventures that haven’t yet been talked or written about, and taken so many pictures that haven’t yet been seen. We wanted to find a home for those stories and photos as a way to honor the fun places we’ve been, to keep our friends and families updated on our happenings, and to share with any like-minded souls who stumble across these pages. For all those wonderful people who persisted in asking us for more details and encouraged this project, Peaks and Penguins is for you.
What’s with the name?
Peaks and Penguins is an attempt to capture the dual themes of our adventures. We like two kinds of trails and two kinds of trails only: those that lead up or around mountains, and those that lead to animal habitats. I suppose I could have gone with mountains and mammals, or ascents and animals, or even runs and rattlesnakes, but I didn’t. I adore mountain peaks, in real life, in photographs and in metaphors about life. And penguins, in addition to being adorable creatures, are capable of enduring incredibly harsh conditions and they make epic journeys. They don’t always go fast, and it isn’t always graceful, but they go places. Just like ultramarathoners do. So there you go, Peaks and Penguins!