Europe N to S: Not the only Crazy (7/9/16)

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A ridge in Stabbursdalen – July 9, 2016

Today’s Miles: 13.3

Total Miles: 313.1

I almost didn’t move. I almost spent the day staring at the grey walls of my tent, watching rain drops pop against the fabric, pool together, and run in little rivers off the sides. I almost thought it was too late to start, six in the evening, even for a few miles.

But I got up anyway, not really knowing why, just needing to move again. I brushed as much water off my tent as I could, shook it off, and walked.

Rain came and went, the wind came and went, the bugs came and went, and I walked, feeling like the last person on earth as the grey clouds pressed down on the world.

Then I noticed footprints in the mud and a tent appeared in front of me.

They were as surprised to see me as I was to see them, both of us assuming we were the only crazy people out in the constant rain.

Two fishermen from Switzerland, Fritz and Christof. Their poles stood in a line next to their tent, resting for the night, waiting for the morning.

The three of us stood in the rain, chatting, excited to have someone else to share a moment with, promising each other that tomorrow’s weather would be better than today’s. I asked about Switzerland and crossing the Alps late in the year. Fritz laughed and said it was so far away that maybe I will arrive in summer.

“Maybe,” I said.

“Do you want some fish?” they asked.

And then I knew why I dragged myself out into the rain, why I packed up my wet tent, why I slipped on wet socks and wet shoes, and slogged through water-soaked bogs, because luck sometimes smiles on you in the cold, wet moments.

Christof handed me a bag with fillets of trout pulled from the river that day. An hour later, I cooked them on my little stove, boiling them with bean and potato soup. Then I sat in my tent and ate, listening to the rain pelt at the fabric, each spoonful of fish fighting away the cold of the day.

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3 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Not the only Crazy (7/9/16)

  1. “‘Maybe, I said.'”
    They obviously didn’t know who they were talking to. And it is so like you to not fill in the blanks. I hope they follow your blog and when you near Switzerland you get to reconnect.
    You are already more than a third of the way the length of Norway. Even with three trips to the “most Northern point” and you’re not a month along. I’m taking bets. Switzerland by New Years anyone?
    (That is, if you don’t continue lollygaging along with seafood dinners, beach bonfires, and so much time hanging out in the rain in your tent!)

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