Europe N to S: Kungsleden Highway (7/30/16)

​Today’s Miles: 25.5

Total Miles: 705

Past Cunojávri – July 30, 2016

The Kungsleden is a wide, easy path. Boards stretch over the bogs, two people can walk side by side on the high ground, the mud is littered with footprints.

There are many people. I drift through them, thinking about the section ahead and how far I have to go. At a mountain hut, a crowd of people move about. Some arriving, some leaving, some relaxing in the sun. There’s so much traffic that the hut has a store.

I stand in the middle of the confusion, staring at a sign, looking for where my path splits away. The well-marked, wide trail turns left while I go right. A hundred steps and I disappear from the crowds on a faded single track.

The trail rises up a long valley. The mountains grow on all sides, higher until glaciers and snow hang off the peaks. I keep thinking about how far I have to go, maybe two-hundred miles. I can feel the weight in my pack, the food stuffed in until the seams are ready to burst. It cuts into my shoulders and hips.

“Ten days and this is only the first,” I think.
The thought weighs on me as a rainstorm pushes past, soaking my clothes and drifting on toward the high mountains. Ten days seems so far, so long to go.

I sit on a rock for a moment and stare at the glaciers and jagged peaks. A rainbow arcs down in the distance. I think of the Kungsleden and its stream of people. I think of the wild in front of me.

“Ten days,” I think. “Aren’t you lucky.”

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One thought on “Europe N to S: Kungsleden Highway (7/30/16)

  1. Yeah! 10 days and aren’t you lucky! But not just lucky. You made the choice. Embracing the wild and the rare and beautiful that are left. Mmmmmn.

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