Europe N to S: Rocks and Ice (8/10/16)

​Today’s Miles: 20.6

Total Miles: 940

Saltfjellet National Park, Norway – August 10, 2016

The mountain tops shimmer in the morning light. It looks like a fresh sheen of snow glowing in the sun, but I tell myself it is just the reflection off wet rocks, a trick of light.

I keep staring as I walk into the mountains from the road, confused, my mind wavering back and forth, refusing to believe my eyes. I leave the trees behind, trading them for low scrub, then tundra, then rocks as storms prowl the distance.

One finds me near a pass, the tall, soaring pillar of white with its grey sheet hanging underneath. It blocks out the sun. The air turns bitter cold. I throw off my pack and pull on my rain gear as the storm sweeps over me.

But it isn’t rain. It’s flecks of ice, plunking and bouncing off the rocks, filling the air with a clattering, popping sound.

I believe my eyes now.

I walk, my head pulled deep under my hood, my eyes watching the frozen white drops fall. They bounce and roll off the rocks, filling the cracks, painting patterns of white across the grey stone.

I tighten the hood of my jacket and smile up at the storm. Yes, it reminds me winter is closing in, that I must get south, but I already knew that. I knew that from the first steps at Kinnarodden. I smile because I feel alive in that pass, safe in the storm, watching reindeer graze through the white haze, watching the ice fall from the sky to paint the world, watching the mountains turn into shadows through the clouds.

“What an adventure,” I yell up at the storm. “Always changing, just as I figure you out.” 

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3 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Rocks and Ice (8/10/16)

  1. I know that as of this posting you have by now passed the 1000 mile mark. So, congratulations. You should know though that I and many others following you are living the explorers life vicariously through you. Keep on trucking D, for we are all enjoying and painfully experiencing this expedition. Love you and cheering you on, Riko.

  2. I love the freshness of your attitude after all these miles. Are you going to come home one day with your hair tied in knots streaming down your back?

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