Total Miles: 1,438.4
Feragen, Norway – September 7, 2016
White moths flutter to life and drift up through the air as I walk down a dirt road. They look like snowflakes swirling in the wind, rising then falling back to earth. I wonder where they came from, when they emerged, if they were always here or did fall push them out of the earth.
I reach a high bend of road and stare out. Yellow leaves fringe the green forest as if a slow fire is spreading leaf to leaf, moving fast, burning away the summer. Hay bales stack high in the fields, one on top of another, waiting for the lean months of winter. The air feels crisp, a hint of cold in it.
I stare up at the retreating sun, already low in the sky. It doesn’t feel as warm as it used to. It no longer lingers into the night. Darkness grows with every turn of the world, swallowing chunks of daylight, dawn and dusk tightening like doors of a closing gate the time I have to walk.
I reach a small town and stop in the grocery store. I empty my wallet and pay with my last Norwegian coins. A few more days and they’ll be worthless to me.
“Where are you walking?” the clerk asks.
“South,” I answer.