Europe N to S: Mind the Gap (9/20/16)


​Today’s Miles: 23

Total Miles: 1,703.1

Lilla Kollsjön – September 20, 2016

I stare at my map and think back to the flurry of days before I left home. I remember downloading GPS tracks and watching them fill in on a screen then staring at the gaps left between some and thinking they would fill in somehow, that they were a problem a thousand miles away.

Now they are at my feet.

I know there is a route. I’m sure of it. But I didn’t have time to find it then and I don’t have it now. 

I got lucky with King Vasa’s trail between Sälen and Mora. I didn’t know it existed until I hitched to Henrik’s house and someone pointed it out.

“There is where they start the race,” he said as we passed a wide, grassy field. “And it goes 90 kilometers to Mora.”

I nodded and smiled, thinking of the gap and the bit of it filling in.

But Vasa’s trail is behind me. Now there isn’t much ahead in the gap, just a few flecks in a wide stretch of nothing. I stare at my map and patch together possibilities. Highways, one lane roads, railways, dirt tracks.

It’s a maze of possibilities. If I go here I can avoid that stretch of highway. Maybe that road is small and unpaved. That one turns too far east. That one too far west. I connect these two here. This track looks doable if I can find a way to reach it. 

They’re all just guesses at lines on a map.

I walk away down the sidewalk in Mora. It disappears near the edge of town and I shift over to a neighborhood road close to the highway. When it spills me out, I walk the shoulder until I find another road and add it to the hastily stitched path behind me.

“Time to pay for those last, time-starved days,” I tell myself. “Onward.”

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One thought on “Europe N to S: Mind the Gap (9/20/16)

  1. Fun learning about Mora, Sweden! We have a Mora, Minnesota. They have a cross country ski race in February called the Vasaloppet, modeled after the Sweden race. Only 58K, 42K or 35K. I’ve done the 58K and the 35K. The race is famous for their hot blueberry soup. Happy Travels!

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