Total Miles: 810.9
Padjelanta National Park – August 4, 2016
I soar to the top of a low ridge running in the middle of a broad valley. Mountains rise on each side. Bits of snow linger in the heights. Water drains off the flanks into streams that braid together in the march down to the river and lakes below.
The sun glows overhead. Puffy white clouds sail in the blue sky, breaking up the light on the green valley floor. I sit and watch, soaking in the sunlight, feeling warm and dry, and at ease for the first time in days.
There is nothing but beautiful, open, wild in front of me. I don’t have to think about the rain, about covering my pack and protecting my gear, about where I can stop to rest and how to stay warm. I don’t have to think about anything but walking.
I stand and pick a distant hill to aim toward, then walk, my heart light, my tired muscles willing, because when the sun does shine you want to walk like mad for fear that it will disappear if you dare to stop.