When we have each other, we have everything.
A truly epic journey with good friends, delicious food, and breathtaking scenery. We began our 13 day journey in Alesund, Norway. After 777 miles, we ended our trip in Bergen. Along the way, we...
1. We hiked some really hard miles. We did several 5 - 7 mile "Norway" hikes. These hikes are LITERALLY a straight up climb. Like Stair-stepper climbing. Nothing is flat in Norway. Hikes we listed as "moderate" should have been listed as "epic." We made it to the viewpoint on all of them though and it was well worth the effort.
2. We rock climbed a 2,000 foot peak called Via Ferrata Loen. It was such a challenge mentally, but I am really proud of myself for overcoming several fears that day. I even ventured onto the "E" out of "F" route and really pushed myself physically. Our guide was awesome and we had several conversations about adults needing to continue to learn and step out of their comfort zones in order to stay malleable. I definitely took a few steps in the right direction!
3. We fed Norwegian ponies and avoided a steer! We were driving around passing the day because it was rainy. On our drive, we came across two adorable Norwegian ponies. They were so friendly and sticking their little heads in our car. So, we did what anyone would think to do. We drove back to a grocery story, bought some carrots, and went back and gave them a treat!
4. One day, we took a train from Flam. The train is on a route that some say is one of the most beautiful in the world. On the way up, Ben noticed a zip line and suggested that we get off the train at a stop and go check it out. We did...and it resulted in an impromptu excursion that was awesome! Not only was the zipline about a mile long in length, but you ended in a goat farm! I could have sat there petting those goats for hours...they were so friendly. We capped it off with a Norwegian pancake and some hot chocolate.
5. We conquered the 13.8 mile round trip hike out to Trolltunga for an epic picture. Fortunately for us, we were the last car that was allowed up to the upper parking lot. The attendant originally told us no, but then changed her mind and let us go up. From the upper lot, the hike is really doable. It was most flat except for a few uphill sections. The hardest part about this hike, the length and if you get bad weather, it is even harder. Our walk to the Trolltunga picture was scattered clouds with the occasional sun break. We really lucked out with the fog during our pictures and had a clear view all the way down to the lake.
On the way back, we ran into a guy who was really struggling with extreme knee pain. We knew he would be slower getting back to the upper lot, but we offered him a ride since they were parked at the lower lot and it would add another 2 miles to an already long hike for him. When we got to the parking lot, Ali and Ben went to get the car while I waited at the trailhead for them. While I was waiting, I started chatting with a kid who was ditched by his friends because he was having issues with new shoes and blisters. I peaked my head into the car when Ali and Ben pulled up and said, "Do you think we could put him in the trunk?" It was a wagon to be fair, so there was enough room for him. Eventually, the bum knee guy and his wife showed up and we hauled everyone in their wet gear down the mountain. Not long after dropping them at the lower parking lot, we ran into two more kids with their thumbs out. They looked pretty pathetic in the rain with all of their gear. We picked them up too and they just happened to be going to the same town as we were! They were a little more terrified and hardly spoke any English. But we chatted with them the best we could and they were happy by the time we dropped them off. Moral of the story: When in Norway...pick up hitchhikers!
I had the absolute pleasure of joining 5 ladies on an adventure into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota for 5 1/2 days. We bonded while paddling, portaging, dealing with nature in our individually quirky ways, sleeping in tents, and exploring. It was fabulous! My favorite thing...being disconnected from it all. There is something spiritual that happens when you don't have a connection to the outside world and you are simply existing in nature. Your world becomes only what you see around you. I enjoyed days of meditation and felt my soul replenished with every fresh breath of air in that stunning location. Here is a quick video (at least by my standards) of our adventure!
Ben, Julie, and Amelia