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.”