I don’t have the time or energy to do a full recap of this last trip, so I will do something a little different. The following excerpts are the exact digital versions of what I wrote in my journal during the trip. Enjoy.
September 10th, 10:00am, Base Camp (2,495ft altitude)
“Sometimes when you’re sleeping in some place other than Richmond suburbia, such as Guatemala, you’ll wake up far to early to the sound of crowing roosters or barking dogs. And sometimes when you’re camping, or perhaps even in Richmond Suburbia, you have to worry about raccoons or foxes getting into your left over food and trash. And when your dog has ran away from your suburban house, you don’t have to worry because a man’s best friend always comes back. Well when you’re in Molladalen, it’s the sheep and their bells that will wake you far too early. It’s the sheep that will manage to eat everything in sight. And you betcha, it’s the sheep that keep coming back, no matter how many times you chase them away. So when Jonas says ‘I don’t see the benefit of doing this now,’ in reference to cleaning the dirty dinner pans of leftover food… don’t listen to him.”
11:45am, Snack Stop
“This is the kind of hiking/ climbing I like to do: up the steep side of a rocky mountain– no trees to hide the progress we’ve made nor the ground we’ve covered.”
12:30pm, Lunch stop, (4,114ft altitude)
“Being on top of something so gigantic, surrounded by things just as enormous, makes me realize how small I really am.”
2:25pm, Mountain top, (4,595ft altitude)
“This is the coolest view I have ever seen. I’ve also decided it is my life goal to do a headstand on top of a mountain like this. Janie Therese requests that I wait at least a year unless I want to give her a heart attack.”
3:15pm, Quiet Break, (3,623ft altitude)
“This is what silence is. Never before have I experienced such a natural silence. There is a far off sound of water, so faint I’m not positive it exists. Even this scratching of my pen is seemingly disturbing the force of this silence. There is an occasional chirp of a singular bird that works as a reference to how quiet it actually is.
I’m laying here, fit perfectly into the side of the mountain. My body is contorted in order to fit within the natural crevasses and dips of the rocks. The fog is rolling in and as it’s getting harder and harder to see I feel as if I am melting into nature.”
September 11th, 10:42am, (3,232ft altitude)
This is our last snack break before we begin climbing up the steepest part of the mountain– so steep we will not be able to take any breaks. As I am sitting here on top of a rock, watching the fog roll out and writing in this journal, I’ve realized it’s September 11th. 9/11, a day that cannot pass without stopping and thinking back to 2001. A moment of silence for the people who lost loved ones on that day, for the war that began, and the soldiers who have died fighting.”
12:30pm, Mountain Top, (4,361ft altitude)
“The sun is so bright, it’s glorious!”
2:31pm, Bladet time, (4,182ft altitude)
“Climbing is comparable to solving a puzzle…that’s why I enjoy it. The best part about the Bladet: in the end you get to stand on top of it, on a rock so high but no wider than a size 9 shoe.”
7:16pm, Quiet Break, (3,153ft altitude)
“We are almost back at base camp but stopped to have a quiet 10 minutes. Once again I am watching the fog roll in, but this time it seems to be hovering right on the line where we set up camp.”
September 12th, 5:31am, Base Camp
So this is what they call an alpine-start. We’ve eaten our breakfast, packed our lunches, our shoes are on, the suns shining… wait, no, it’s still dark out. Regardless, you get the point, we are ready to go!
9:24am, Base Camp
We are back from our last hike on this trip. We hiked up a mountain, took some group pictures, and managed to make it back to camp all before 9:00am! Pretty cool. My cooking team is all packed up and ready to start the trek down to the busses.”
11:17am, Bus Parking Lot, (619ft altitude)
As we approached the bus each and everyone of us let out a sigh, perhaps out of relief that we could now sit down. I am happy with the hike down from base camp– it wasn’t as difficult as hiking up to base camp. Mostly because my pack was three logs, a bag of food, and two oranges lighter in weight!
3:00pm, Nordfjord, (273ft altitude)
The bus ride to the trip was filled with thoughtful conversation with Jonas about his redefinition of ‘love.’ The bus ride back home was filled with… Zzzs. And now, the tent is hanging up to dry, and I will begin the unpacking process. By the time I am done, I will start packing again for the next trip!
*As my camera was on low battery at the start of the trip, I didn’t capture as many photos this time. Once I get ahold of some other’s from the rest of the group I will share more!