Total Miles: 1,514.3
Somewhere 13k South of Flötningen – September 10, 2016
I remember the northern end of the Kungsleden in Abisko, the giant tourist station at the start with its stream of backpackers coming in and out, the painted tunnel under the road that announced the trail. The wide, well-kept path that could hold two or three people across there and tents filled the campgrounds.
Then I turned and left it behind, like one might turn a car onto a gravel road from the highway. But the highway kept going, streaking south on a different path, and now I’ve reached it again.
The Kungsleden has lost a bit of its glory in the journey. I’m sure it would say the same of me and my ripped pants, my worn-out shoes, my thinner frame. Gone are the crowds. Gone are the walls of mountains rising on every side.
It’s a simple, quiet path through the forest now, but it makes me smile, like seeing an old friend.
Yellow trees rise on all sides. The wind swirls through fallen leaves. I walk with ease, glad for the flat ground, the clear path, and my steps pointing south.