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Thought

By walking 2014.04.11 in Whatnots

Vandrar i skogen

Längs med vindlande stigar

Nu är jag i livet

 

Walking in forest

Along winding forest paths

Life is here now

Nordic Outdoor

By walking 2014.04.01 in Whatnots

Saturday the 22nd we visited the fair Nordic Outdoor at Svenska Mässan in Göteborg. It was in the same hall as the fair Tur. The whole family went and I think that the one who got most out of it was my youngest. There was a climbing wall in one corner and she climbed three times trying all sides. She also did the treasure hunt Addnature and Pathfinder Travels had.

20140322_climbingThe fair was alright in my eyes. It felt like the best booth was Grower’s Cup’s and for some odd reason we didn’t stock up. The rest felt a bit meh to be honest. There were some of the usual gear and the prices didn’t really feel like bargains. If we had been looking for tents it might have been more interesting but so far our cheap tent is enough. Sure, if I had brought a bigger budget than I did maybe some things would have followed me home. But it felt like most were the same stuff as I can find at Naturkompaniet, Fjällsport or XXL in town for about the same prices .

It was fun going there but I don’t really know if I’d go again since it was very small and nothing really new was on display. At least nothing really new to me.

Watch your head

By walking 2014.03.25 in Hallandsleden

Åkulla – Ästad 31st August 2013: The hike with lots of bikes and lambs plus a delicious lunch.

Next morning I woke up pretty late for being me. Sun was already up which was nice but at the same time weird. Sleep had been interrupted several times mostly due to me not being used to outdoor sleeping. It had been a nice night. Hearing only the rustle of leaves was at the same time relaxing and creepy. Understanding we were alone in the woods but also realizing we were alone in the woods. Weird but nice.

Topbjaer_20130831_talt

During breakfast we set up our filtration system so it could do it’s work. For breakfast I used a Blå Band porridge which I had better success with than yesterday’s cereal. Think having a hot breakfast is much more me than a cold when out on a hike. Even if it was somewhat warm  and not cold outside it felt good having a warm breakfast with porridge plus coffee. At around ten we had packed everything up and started walking south. We knew the leg today was a lot shorter (14 km) today than yesterday’s 23 km. Thus we decided to take it easy and enjoy the walk.

As yesterday ended today started in a beautiful Beech forest. The sun shone through the canopy giving the forest a magical look. It turned out to be a perfect weather day with mostly sun and just a little drizzle. Due to my disassembled phone and hiker buddy not taking as many photos as I do there’s not many from this leg. But lots of images in our minds since it was truly a beautiful day. I do have a photo of the awesome Karl Johan (Porcino) that had somehow been stowed in my backpack’s rain-cover. Had to give it up though when starting of.

Topbjaer_20130831_svamp

Shortly after the hike started we happened to come across another LandArt. This time I don’t know if we saw it or not. We found the signs and read them but I didn’t get it. Seems the artist had returned stones into the forest that had been “borrowed” from different places in nature before. But we never understood where these stones actually were placed which might have been the artist’s intention. One never knows sometimes with art.

Our hike and Bockstensturen intersected here and there on the way. We had fun cheering them on when we stopped for snacks. Once we stood just before the top of a hill cheering and some riders thanked us for giving them “a hand to get up the damned hill” as one put it. Some just looked at us as if we were nuts. And others just threw their garbage on the road not thinking at all about being in a nature reserve. This actually surprised me how they totally ignored getting the benefit of riding through nature reserves with Länsstyrelsens allowance and saying thanks by throwing garbage on the ground. I commented it to one of the volunteers and they just shrugged. Felt wrong as in that we do everything we can to not leave anything behind when we hike. But I guess everyone is different.

This leg is among the better scenery wise. Later we would hit legs with mostly road walking so these early legs are true gems. The trail winded through the forest either on paths or gravel roads. When drizzling during snack stops we stood underneath beautiful canopies enjoying the scenery around us. It was a very meditative walk actually. We just enjoyed everything around us while walking.

Apart from the bikes we didn’t see many vehicles until we got closer to Öströö. This happened at the same time as we hit the first bigger road. Öströö is a farm that keeps sheep and thus lambs as well. This was our goal for lunch since I know how good their food is. When we arrived the sun was out but drizzles seemed imminent so we took a table inside the cave-like-eating-area. Then it was luxury to order their mixed-lamb-plates with wine and beer. It was delicious and we sat a long time enjoying our wine/beer while eating slow. I think we were the only guests that day who took off their shoes and socks in order to let them rest a bit. Most groups seemed to be ordinary tourists out for a nice day trip from Varberg but we did hear Danish as well. Hiker buddy commented that this lunch and beer was among the best during our hikes so far.

Oestroeoe_20130831

At Öströö and also at the windshed in Ästad there were signs posted about who to contact if the trail was not up to par or if one needed information about something. This was the first time since leaving Kungsbacka I saw anything like this and there it had only been posted at the windsheds. Varberg had so far not kept the trail as well as Kungsbacka. A few days after finishing the leg Stättared – Dranstugan I tried reaching Varberg in order to let them know of the trail’s  bad condition. One person I got didn’t even know they were in charge of it but suggested to contact another department. Tried but never got an answer.

After Öströö we followed the trail into the Beech forest behind the farm. We lost the bikes here thankfully since they followed the main road back to Varberg. It was fun having them as company since we didn’t have to share forest trails with them, just roads. But now it was once again just us two out walking. Sun showed up and the forest turned magical once again . Seems to be a special trait that Beech forests have. Just a bit of sunshine glimmering down through the canopy and one almost expects a fairy to show up right in front of one’s nose. Or maybe I just listen too much to my own fantasies.

At one point we passed through a field with cows and calves. They didn’t move much but kept a steady eye on us just in case we tried something fishy. Some of the young bulls decided we were interesting and checked us out closer. I know they’re not supposed to be dangerous or such if you leave them be but some of them sure are big. Makes me stay very calm and alert but show them I’m not trying anything fishy. Just hoping cows understand that….

Just before Ästad we entered yet another nature reserve, Långanskogen, which was situated by a lake. Right down at the lake there were some picnic tables that were oddly enough occupied by several beautifully fancy dressed up humans. Felt very out of place but when we left the reserve we got the answer to our riddle. Just then a car drove in with a very big-smiling bride and a somewhat shy groom. Made us smile and I hope that they had a happy celebration down by the lake. This, we found out when passing the Hembygdsgård 10 min later, would be followed by a party there.

Another 10 min and we were down by the wind-shed at Ästad. This was situated at the end of a beach on the lake. When we arrived there were some people taking up canoes out of the lake and moving to a nearby storage area. I know Ästad Gård has a lot of conference and group activities so I assumed this was one of those. The condition of the wind-shed was good and there was a big outdoor loo-house (dass as we say in Swedish). A big stack of firewood and a sitting area for many people around a fire-ring. These fire-rings have been present at most of the wind-sheds I’ve stopped at. They are built up a bit off the ground consisting of smaller stones and concrete. Some have a grill so you can cook a steak or hamburger if need be. We decided to light a fire for comfort and coziness.

Aastad_20130831_eld

Hiker buddy hadn’t been to happy about his sleeping bag’s temperature during the first night. He felt it had been too cold for comfort. I suggested that we put the tent inside the shed to try and up the temperature around the bag a bit. My bag had been awesome temperature-wise but I could live with having it a bit warmer. Hiker buddy looked at me as if I’d gone nuts. I just explained how I’d read about others putting up tents in wind-sheds on the Appalachian trail in order to avoid cold and/or bugs. So, we put up our tent inside the wind-shed. Looked funky but it mostly did it’s trick. We only took half of the windshed for the tent so if someone else came along it shouldn’t be a problem we thought. No one else did come though except for a few youngsters later on. We think their intention was to sit and chat around the fire-ring but since we already were there they went to the dock instead.

Aastad_windshed

While relaxing after the hike I wrote some in my notebook (that has since disappeared gah) and went down standing in the shallow part of the lake. It was too cold for a swim but a snake didn’t agree with that. I always get caught of guard when seeing a snake weave along on top of water. Here it took off from the dock and disappeared over the lake’s surface into the reed. The lake was calm and there was a glorious sunset of course. I suspect that being outdoors makes one more prone to really appreciate what the outdoors have to give you.

This night I tried Mountain House’s Chicken Korma being very suspicious since the Chili had been such a failure last night. This Korma was good though which made me think that maybe one can try other ones from there in the future after all. This far my favourite brand is Blå Band and Mountain House is a mere okies one. I’ll try it again though but will be more careful of what to choose.

One thing we did learn sleeping in a wind-shed one has to watch one’s head. We kept bumping ours over and over on the low ceiling which turned into a joke between us. As soon one of us stepped into the shed the other one said “Watch your head”. And so ended the second hiking day that weekend.

Today: 14 km
Total: 122 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 110 km
Left: 157  km

 

 

Pilgrimslivet

By walking 2014.03.18 in Inspiration

Just finished a book called “Pilgrimslivet: Stillhet, Skoskav och Sång” with Anna Braw as editor. It’ seems to only be available  in Swedish. It’s a book about hiking but out of a Christian viewpoint but there are other religions present in the book. There’s several writers in this book and it mostly consists of personal stories. Each person writing their own personal story about pilgrimage.

Some stories are about the trail to Santiago de Compostela, which I think is one of the most famous pilgrimage trails in Europe. Other stories are about pilgrimages to the Nidarosdomen, the church of S:t Olof (Swedish), Old Uppsala, in the Egyptian desert between two monasteries and many more. Interspersed with the stories are songs, poems and information concerning different trails.

Pilgrimslivet_thumb

I really enjoyed this book because of all the personal stories. How the different authors experienced the hikes and also what they got out of them. Sure, it’s all from a religious point of view but every person’s hike is different. Some hike to enjoy nature. Some hike to get closer to God. Some hike to get away from it all. Some hike to expand their comfort zone. Some hike to heal. Some hike just to be present in the moment. All reasons are valid and this book shows quiet many of those reasons.

Some stories were very influenced by religion and others were just about the hike itself. The book is divided into seven parts: Carelessness, Simplicity, Sharing, Freedom, Slowness, Silence and Spirituality. One can choose to read one part or several parts.

The book has given me lots of ideas about where to hike. There’s mentioning of trails up north and just around the corner from me. Some just hiked without following a trail but just for the fun of it and one of those hikes went along the coast where I live. It might not be for everyone but it was definitely worth the read. If nothing else for the beautiful photos, and I’m very tempted to try the bread recipe.

Wet

By walking 2014.03.11 in Hallandsleden

This was the leg where I found out how it feels to be utterly totally soaking drenched.

Sunrise_20130830

It started out nice and easy. Hiker buddy dropped me off at Gällarpesjön  on the 30th of August on his way to work. The sunrise was beautiful and everything was so quiet. I started out from the seating area just off the windshed and followed the road. It was around 7 am and time for breakfast. I came up along the lake Stora Neten and looked for a nice spot. About halfway down the trail’s length of the lake I found a nice spot. As I already knew tthat he lake is used for the city of Varberg as a water reservoir I figured the water can’t be all that bad. So I just boiled it for my breakfast.

Backpack_20130830This was the first time I tried one of those prepackaged meals the hiking stores sell and I started out with using a cold water one from Blå Band. It didn’t quite turn out exactly what I expected but it was edible. The rest I put down to my inadequacies of not having done this before. What I used the boiled water for was coffee and while I was enjoying that the rain slowly started. These Grower’s cups turned out to be a real favourite of mine. For this first cup I didn’t do it totally right but it was still a really good cuppa. Started walking when the rain came.

Anthill_20130830At the beginning the rain was bearable and the forest was lovely. The whole hike was a really nice one. Very little road walking which I like. Since it also was warm I didn’t put on my rain pants since the rain wasn’t too bad. I kept a pretty steady pace. There were some impressive ant hills scattered along the trail as if the ants use the trail themselves in order to transport items. The trail meandered along really nice forest paths and smaller roads. I didn’t meet anyone else during the whole hike and I assume mostly due to the weather. Right there in the forest it was still just a drizzle. A bit annoying but nothing that dampened my mood. Besides my hat kept my hair dry and the rain jacket hadn’t shown me it’s flaws yet as it would later do.

IMAG0785

Around Långasjön the trail followed the lake very closely. Some points it was as if one could fall in if a foot was placed wrong. Can’t belive people bike here which I saw evidence of all along the trail. The lake itself was really tranquil,. There was a boat pulled up as if someone either fishes or just sit in the middle of the lake while contemplate about life. Felt like a really good use of this lake to me and maybe that is why the trail was a bit confusining when leaving the lake. The markings had somehow been neglected and thus wasn’t available where the trail left the lake and after went over a clear cut area. I did some wrong turns but soon discovered where the trail continued. After the confusing clear cut I entered the forest again. I love the forest parts of the trail.

Detour_Start_20130830Somewhere around Brännhult there was a detour set up for Hallandsleden. I was told to follow the striped ribbons and so I did. I didn’t really get why till I came to the other end of the detour. Trees had fallen all over the trail totally blocking it. At this point I was still alright with the rain but after this the rain got me. My rain jacket turned out to not be water proof or at least the pockets. Then my phone decided to retire and die since it had gotten wet despite my best intentions. And since I was out in the middle of a beautiful forest I realized that the rain was here to stay. Wether I liked it or not. At least the temperature wasn’t cold and I kept wearing shorts. I started to get soaked. Rain is quiet ruthless in this regard. If you’re not clothed properly you are without doubt going to get totally soaked if you stay outside in the rain. Trust me. But considering that the only long trousers I had with me was windproof but not rainproof I think I did the right choice with my shorts.

Detour_end_20130830 The problem was that hunger started to show and I wanted a dry spot for eating. This forest had very little dry spots at this point and I kept walking despite my stomache’ rioting against my decision. There were no dry spots available for an hour. A windshed would have been nice or just a big rock. At around two a promising rock did show itself. It seemed big enough and there was an overhang that I could sit under. The dry patch was big enough to fit both me and my backpack. It was perfect. Here I tried out a pasta dish from Blå Band and that one was awesome. I don’t really know if it truly was good or if it just was the whole situation making it good. But I sat dry under a weird rock boiling my water and enjoying lunch which was good enough for me. The rain kept coming down but I was alright in my little dry shelter. After lunch I didn’t really feel like going on but I decided the best thing would be to get to Åkulla where I belived there was a windshed. Good thing I didn’t know then that there’s no windshed at Åkulla due to the owners not wanting one. Well, if I had read the map properly I would have known but I was living in my own little fantasy that there was a windshed.

The rest of the hike was wet. Very wet. Extremly wet but somehow the forest made everything alright. It was a typical John Bauer forest, as I call them, full of rocks and moss and I kept finding mushrooms everywhere. Have to figure out if one can have butter and cream along on hikes cause then one could make delicious Karl Johan soup in this forest during fall. I even picked one cause it was so big and looked totally awesome so I couldn’t leave it be. The distance left to Åkulla was not great and I started to expect hitting the bike path between Åkulla and Varberg anytime. Suddenly I heard motorbikes behind me and I was passed by 3 or 4. Each rider wearing a bright orange west labled volunteer and the bikes looked like old army ones. Did not strike as very hike appropiate to me and the trail here was narrow and felt more MTB worthy than motorbikes.

Just after this encounter I hit the bike path and walked up to Åkulla where I tried to find the windshed. No windshed was found and I went to the café/reception to ask. Well, actually first I asked to borrow a phone to let my hiker buddy know I was alive and well plus that I would wait till he arrived there. During the conversation a guest at Åkulla showed up offering me and my hiker buddy 500 SEK each for driving them back and forth to Ästad gård later at around 11 pm. I was so shocked from the offer starting to dream of dry beds and showers and all kinds of weird things one gets after walking in rain a whole day but we somehow said no to the offer. I assume the rain had gotten into my brain…

Anyways, it turned out that I wasn’t the first hiker asking about a windshed and the lady was very irritated about my questions. I asked what it would cost to sleep there and the cheapest was 400 SEK for a night per person. Uhm, no thanks. Asked if there was a shower to loan since I had seen signs but that would cost like 1 400 SEK since it included a sauna and they don’t rent to single persons….  Instead I bought warm coffee and a bun which I feasted on while letting my feet air. Of course I sat outside but it was under a big roof giving me a dry spot to linger for a few hours. Actually I became quiet dry during this lingering since it was still warm outside. Filled up my water bag and started to wait for hiker buddy which took a while.

The reception/café closed soon and I lingered around outside on a covered porch while walking back and forth to the trail once in awhile. Started picking Karl Johan mushrooms to have something to do and I estimate that I walked about 5km while waiting. Motorbikes kept showing up riding the trail and up through Åkulla and continuing on towards Öströö. I didn’t know then but later found out that Bockstensturen was scheduled for the day after. The motor bikes where checking out the route which goes along the trail for a bit. Personally I don’t like the damage something like this does to the trail but at the same time it’s fun that the trail is used. No one let me borrow their phone for getting in contact with hiker buddy and no one had seen him.

Hiker buddy was taking a bus from Varberg and stepped off at Brännhult around 4:30-5 pm. Clock kept ticking and I thought he would show up around six which turned out to be seven since he made a wrong turn on the way. While trying to not get too anxious I was doing one of my walks back to the trail and walking up it a bit to have something to do when suddenly he walked around a corner. That was a relief. I told him about the no-windshed-status of Åkulla and we decided to walk on till we found a good tent spot. We crossed the bike path and walked on south. While walking we kept hearing the motor bikes in the distance which was a bit annoying to me since not one of them wanted to help me.

After Åkulla we were walking on the next leg which ends at Ästad. The first part followed smaller roads and forest paths. We kept looking for a nice tent spot and on an uphill slope full of Beech we thought the ideal spot was found. Well, at least till we heard rustle not far off and a badger showed up walking parallell along the path. Gosh, it’s so cool to see them in the wild. He/she didn’t seem to even notice us and walked off over the hill. Knowing from childhood camps that badgers love tents that contains food I voted to keep walking just to be on the safe side. Hiker buddy agreed and we continued.

Along Valasjön we hit the route for the bike race but the motorbikes had stopped by now. Dusk started to show and at the end of the lake we hit the reserve Toppbjär (Swedish) that I knew allowed tents. Just when the trail leaves the lake there was a perfect spot for a tent. Here we set up camp and we managed to finish it before darkness came. It was very tranquil but the rain had decided to come back for a final show that day. We made dinner with Mountain House‘s unedible Chilli con Carne. Both of us had trouble with it because it just wasn’t good. Blegh to be honest. Can’t find it on their website now…

Anyways, the hike had been really nice despite the rain and dieing phone. The phone had at this point been taken apart and was stored in a bag with kitchen towels in order to see if it could be saved. Luckily it was just the phone and nothing more serious.

Today: 28 km (23 km of the trail)
Total: 108 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 96 km
Left: 171  km

Thoughts

By walking 2014.03.04 in Whatnots

It has been awhile since I last wrote here. Actually, no posts in 2014. Why is that?

Well, there’s several reasons. One, having gone through the experience of a trigger thumb (warning: link comes with gory picture) with the accompanying pain and surgery was quiet over-whelming. Two, flu hit this household just before Xmas. Three, life happened. Life tends to do that and mind get sidetracked which results in stuff getting pushed way back into the mind’s darkest spots. This was one of those things.

But I still got five days to write about from last year. Two weekend hikes involving three nights in total. There’s also my new red backpack I got for Xmas and the old one we finally got reimbursed for just after Xmas. Also some smaller gadgets I bought after the latest hike due to hiking in darkness. Beautiful darkness but still darkness.

There’s also talks about the next hike and then kids wants to do something that involves hiking with mom. Dreams are of hiking for days with several dips in lakes and just being in the moment. That is my youngest daughter’s thoughts. The oldest tends more towards reluctance to hiking that long since the amount of conversation topics might dry up leaving us totally bored of each other. But Summer is months away and Spring is just around the corner. Can’t wait for Spring.

Goal is to start writing here again and get those five days down. Making this blog show my hike as it now is which is from the start at Blåvättnerna to Oskarström, where we ended last year. After that my thumb got worse and hiking was pushed back due to pain. Pain drains the energy out of a person and all one thinks about is that damned pain. Well, pain is gone and thumb is almost back to where it was before this whole ordeal. Life keeps happening and writing is back on.

Gear part 5

By walking 2013.12.12 in Gear

Now I wanted to go to the next step of my hiking education. It was time for a sleepover outdoors which meant a lot more gear was needed. My oldest daughter showed up by coincidence with my sleeping pad from my youth and I decided that could be used for my new experience. It’s just a regular old foam sleeping pad about 3 cm thick.

Apart from that I also needed.

  1. Tent
  2. Sleeping bag
  3. Cooking possibilities
  4. More food
  5. Eating thingamajigs
  6. Water cleaning product
  7. A bigger backpack

It was the movie “Tell it on the Mountain” that made me realize I could do this. Hiker buddy decided he should come along both because he enjoyed the day hike we did together and to keep better track of me after the last incident.

After having tried to read up about these things online we visited Naturkompaniet. The personnel there are very helpful and answered all our questions. Something we noticed this time around is that Naturkompaniet has about the same price range as XXL or Stadium when it comes to the more expensive things.

After a lot of digging around on the net and in real-life stores we found what we wanted. The tent (Everest Adv Light 2 S12) and my sleeping bag (Haglöfs Slumber Q 2S) we bought on sale at Stadium. The tent we chose because of the low weight and price. It had gotten mixed reviews on different forums but it seemed like a good one for low-country hiking such as Hallandsleden. The sleeping bag I had been recommended at Naturkompaniet but they didn’t have it in stock when we were there. Besides Stadium had it for 50% off when we got there later the same day.

The kitchen we found dirty cheap at XXL. It is a really simple kitchen but we only wanted something to boil water in for us two. Eating thingamajigs we both bought at Naturkompaniet (spork) and plastic mugs from our picknick cupboard at home.

Food, the water cleaning product and some extra gear for hiker buddy we bought at Addnature. The water cleaning product  is a Platypus product and goes with my hydration pack, I got for an earlier day hike. When it came to food we took the easy route this time with prepackaged meals and coffee bags. Bit of a cheat but this was our first time out hiking for a whole weekend. We took a selection to try from Blå band, Mountain House and Growers Cup. Something that surprised us was how the Mountain House products could go from almost uneatable Chili con Carne to good Chicken Korma. Apart from things for me hiker buddy got a sleeping pad, a thing to convert pad into a chair and beef jerky.

The backpack I also found on sale for a really cheap price at Pulsport. This was the one buy I would have regret a bit later but at least not during this coming weekend hike. It’s from Oregon and 50L. The backpack is alright and mainly it’s the hip belt I got problems with. After a few hiking days it broke and we made a reclamation to the store. First I was going to get a new belt fastener but after a week it was changed to a new backpack. Now it’s 2 months later and we still haven’t gotten a new backpack.

The plan was for me to start on a Friday morning at Gällarpesjön and meet up with hiker buddy at Åkulla Friluftsgård. Then to arrive at Vessigebro on Sunday afternoon after having walked almost 3 legs of the trail. I couldn’t wait to get started on this experience.

Wrong turn

By walking 2013.12.10 in Day hike

Morning of August 17th I set out to hike Dranstugan – Gälllarpesjön. Since we still had two cars at that time I parked one by Dranstugan. Here I was surprised to see people at the windshed. Turned out it was a German couple aiming to walk as far as possible towards Malmö before their vacation ended. They had slept in the windshed and were getting ready when I arrived. Felt weird but also fun to finally meet someone else out on the trail.

20130817_bridge

It was a lovely day and I set out back down the road. During the first hour I passed several Skvaltkvarnar which had been restored in order to show how they functioned in the olden days. One of them you could walk inside and here unfortunately I found some evidence that someone had used it as sleeping quarters. I try to live by the motto “Take only memories, leave only footprints”. This person, who had slept inside the mill, had not followed the same motto since I saw garbage scattered around. Kind of sad how people treat the outdoors and everything that’s available there.

20130817_skvaltkvarn

 

While walking along this part, where Skvalkvarnarna were present, I tried to picture how they would work together to make these mills work. Would one wake up really early and walk/ride to the dam? How would they know when to let the water flow? What if someone didn’t make it to their mill in time? You didn’t have cell-phones or mountainbikes back then. But everything aside they did use these mills and they managed to work through quite a bulk during just one run. At least to me it sounded like a lot to get done in just one release of water from the dam. I think the sign mentioned 5 sacks of flour per mill and run.

20130817_pond

It was really an amazing walk along the trail in this forest and smaller roads. While following on of these smaller roads I suddenly saw a pond up ahead. It looked like a small handmade one and it was so tranquil. Approaching the pond felt as from a fairytale and I imagine my feelings were similar to how Mary must have felt in “The Secret Garden” when discovering her garden. I wanted to stop at my secret pond and happily I found a table with seats around it just by the pond. It felt so special to sit there having my snack and checking out the rest of the walk. So far I felt totally in control of the day’s hike. Unfortunately I forgot my little seat pad at this spot but I hope the next one who came along could use it.

20130817_table

The walk continued along smaller forest roads till it became a short stretch of regular road walking. After this short stretch I walked up a hill following some signs for ArtTrail/LandArt. I had read about this and it had made me a bit excited to finally see what it’s all about. The artist here is Kerstin Gustafsson and I think the ageing of the art actually made it more interesting. Usually one sees art in closed rooms where air and weather can’t affect it. Sometimes it’s extreme and the item is behind extra glass like Mona Lisa or the textiles from Peru at Världskulturmuseet in Gothenburg.

20130817_landart

Both before and after the LandArt the trail crosses some fields. The cows looked tranquil and checked me out just as I checked them out. The fields were left behind as the trail entered the forest again. Along this path I happened on something named Offerkista (place of sacrifice). I’ve never seen one in the middle of the forest before and the spot felt weird. I don’t know if it was a true one or just a hoax of some kind. There was no sign about it nearby and no mention on the map either. The fence around felt homemade so I have no idea what to make of it.

20130817_offer

Kept walking through the forest and it felt good. I had no problem following the markings and if an arrow pointed downwards I saw markings on the nearby trees as well. What did happen was me taking a wrong turn cause of over-thinking a signpost (the one below). The signs were just by a Y-crossing and I came from the top left path. After having decided the signs confused I tried getting help from the surrounding markings. The only problem here was that all three paths out from the crossing where marked with the same red/orange bands. So, that was no help. Then tried to understand where on the map I was. Found two potential spots for my present position and the one I thought I was at told me the top right path should be right. Thus I set off that way.

20130817_signs

It didn’t take long for me to get uncomfortable with my choice. My hiker buddy at home mentioned the same thing when reading my text messages. He also tried pinpointing my location with the various maps we had at home, but with little to no success.  After walking for about 20 min I decided to head back and decipher the signs again. A lake should be on my left side at this point and there were no lakes in sight. When I came back to the signs and decided to imagine coming for the other two path as if to continue north. Then I deduced I had taken the wrong path and thus went down along the Y. Here a lake soon showed me I was on the right track.

20130817_lake

At about halfway along the lake one happens upon a cluster of summer houses. Just when I passed there was some kind of yearly meeting in one of the gardens. After Jutatorp, as the cluster is named, the trail continued along a gravel road straight through the forest. I don’t like walking on these coarse gravel roads. Hurts the feet and the sound disturbs me since the sounds of the forests get fewer if I make too much noise. Found a lot of blueberries though and I took a well-deserved pause to refill myself with these energy boosters. Apart from my mishap I really enjoyed my walk this day. Most of it went through forests and very little walking along roads happened. Some of the later legs are mostly road walking so this was a really nice leg.

20130817_chantrelle

 The walk after my break continued along forest-paths and -roads. As it came closer to the correctional institution the path geared off the road and into the forest to make a wide turn around the institution. Here I came across a really odd contraption on the path.  It looked as if it was a huge trap that had caught the tree but I suspect it’s something else. Maybe an old fallen gate and the tree just grew through it after it fell. One of those odd things one gets too see while out hiking. The path continued to meander around different stables and there were a lot of horses around. This was followed by a short road walk and then another nice forest path came along.

20130817_myskogrej

At Gällarpesjön one was given the option of either going right or left. Since I knew the right turn would take me along a main road while left would take me through nature I opted left. The trail follows the lake closely and I once again got the image that the trail here is mostly geared towards hikers going northbound. Me going southbound ended up in a marsh which after a few steps showed to have a narrow footbridge through it. The start was hidden behind a bush which I didn’t think of going around since the marker was a on my side of the bush. But I went up on the footbridge as soon as I had realized my mistake. And it didn’t take long to come upon the windshed at Gällarpesjön. While resting here and asking to be picked up by hiker buddy the German couple came walking through. I thought they had gone north since I hadn’t seen them all day despite my wrong turn. But they were headed south and had one more week to walk before having to head home. I wonder how long the came before having to quit.

20130817_windshedlake

 

Walked along the road back to where the trail came upon it at the other end of the lake. And this is where I was picked up.

Today: 21 km
Total: 80 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 73 km
Left: 194  km

 

Surgery

By walking 2013.11.16 in Whatnots

Have done hand surgery recently and thus can not update this site just now. I will be back shortly.

Walking with Spring

By walking 2013.10.15 in Inspiration

Somehow I picked up information about the book Walking with Spring by Earl V. Shaffer. He walked the whole Appalachian Trail in 1948. This is the first documented and confirmed thru-hike of this trail.  This book was self-published by Earl in 1981 and the Appalachian Trail Conference made it available commercially in 1983. The local library here in Sweden had it and I took it home to read.

It is a thin book and apart from text contains photos that Earl took on his hike. Since it was written about 30 years after the hike he refers to his little black notebook and writes about what happened after the hike as well. During the hike he wrote to a Trail Conference that was taking place where they hardly believed the note and he talks about how he afterwards had to describe the whole hike in order to be taken seriously. In the end he was believed and he hiked the whole trail twice more during his lifetime.

It’s a hard book to describe because it is like reading his memories of walking the trail. There’s poetry, photographs, raccoon encounters, hiking along thin ridges during dark and also beauty all along the hike. It wasn’t a fast read but it’s one I want to read again. A lot of reviewers out there talk about how this was the book that inspired them to do a thru-hike. It didn’t do that for me but it was a very nice read.

Quotes

LIFE is about PASSION, otherwise it is worthless.
- Inaki in "Tell it on the Mountain"

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
- Steven Wright

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