Let me just get this off my chest right at the getgo – today I am simply beside myself with joy. Happiness. Life is good in ways one rarely get to experience. The privilege and luck to be allowed to experience such days in the middle of such adventures is massive.
As I’m writing this I’m sitting baking in the sun outside my stone cabin, barely a cloud in sight, watching the majestic mountains and the valleys of the green and the grey in between. Listening to The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun. And right in front of me, a freshly cut green meadow. Here’s the view:
Happy. There. I said it. Nothing to be ashamed of. Quite contrary. We should probably spend more time pursuing pure, simple happiness and less time pursuing other peoples expectations of us. I find I’m getting increasingly philosophical as the days go by. Might not bode well for the days to come.
Started the day at 07:00 as I do every day, rest day or not. Trail routine is healthy and important. The difference today was tangible though. The joyous feeling of not having one single plan the entire day, except catch dinner at 19:00. A whole day of zero cell phone coverage to fill with anything or nothing. And perfect weather to do it in.
Spent the first three hours after breakfast chatting with a new mountaineer acquaintance who was super nice. Ex glacier guide and old school hiker. Feeling bad we spoke for so long he probably had to run the 18-20 km to catch his bus.
It’s important to move and stay agile on rest days too. Hiked a quick 5km trip up Skogadalen along Skogadøla towards Mjølkedalstinden 2138m, another peak duly placed on my alpine climbing todo list. Returning I had a spectacular view of Gjertvasstind 2351m which was already on my wish list but has now moved to #1 place. Spectacular.
You don’t “take” or “do” mountains by the way. When I first started out climbing and mountaineering, my mindset, overjoyed with having overcome vertigo, was more along the lines of “taking” as many mountains as possible. Glad I now understand it is not about that at all. It’s about visiting the mountains. If the mountain allows me to; weather, skills and company permitting.
The body has also benefitted from a rest day. Knee pain completely gone. Feet feel peachy. Muscles fine. Having completed the first 100km and roughly 4-5000m ascent the first 5 days, I’m allowing myself some careful optimism for the next few days.
To close on another uplifting point, Skogadalsbøen remains one of my favourite DNT huts of all time. Super friendly staff. Excellent food. Beautiful setting, and sufficiently far from roads and public transport that all the guests are nice. Atmosphere around the dinner table is friendly and chatty. If I were in charge of it I wouldn’t change a thing!
- Total distance hiked: 0 km, but did a 5km walk to stay agile and not stiffen.
- Total time: N/A
- Total ascent: N/A
- Total descent: N/A
- Max elevation: N/A
- Toughest part of section: N/A
- Today’s favourite item: Suntribe Organic Zinc sunscreen. Turns my face white like a clown but is good for the skin and the nature. And is lightweight of course.
- Today’s crap moment: Not a single second.
- Today’s word of wisdom: When hiking old mountain routes, remember the cairns are placed to show direction, not the exact path/trail. It’s up to oneself to find the best path in the direction one’s heading. The cairns just show direction.