Marie and I moved out of the Arctic in August. We spent about a week driving 1000 km. Our travelling lives still fit in the back of Marie’s e-Golf, including our summer purchases of a 24″ monitor, my folding bicycle, and our growing shoe collection. It did feel a little odd to drive around with three pairs of skis sticking up between our seats, but, hey, skiing can happen in all months in Norway.
We landed in our new home on 1 September Marie and I have made a promise to ourselves to “live where we want to be”. Living 4 km outside of Folldal and surrounded on three sides by highlands fulfils that promise. Our front windows look out on the access road that rises about 200 m over 3 km to a parking area for our adventureland. We spent about a week here in February, back when we were exploring Norway week by week. We’ve been welcomed back and treated like regulars by Sissel and Per Johan.
We started a hiking trip on 5 September. I laced up my hiking boots on our back steps and out we went. As we walked out of the farmyard Per Johan promised a free taxi service if we found ourselves stuck, which is a real possibility in autumn in Norway. Sissel was a mix of jealous and honored by our journey – jealous she wasn’t coming with, honored that we’d chosen “little Folldal for our home when there are so many fine places in Norway.”
Our mission was to discover. We took minor paths, unmarked paths, and not-a-paths. We pitched our tent when we were done for the day. We looked down paths at junctions and made decisions on feel and whim. Several times each day we would come around a corner and stop to stare. Autumn colors here are special. Birches are king in a narrow elevation band from about 900 m to 1050 m. Higher up to about 1250 m blueberries (actually bilberries or whortleberries) dominate. Any higher and it’s moss and lichen. As we walked, the birches and blueberries lit up into yellows and reds.
Autumn appeared and helped us turn home. We spent a rainy evening at Rondane River Lodge. Warm sleeping, hot showers, and great food were welcome. A family from Belgium is rebooting the lodge after taking over in 2019; stop in and have a traditional Belgian waffle. Over the next two days we hopped north along Hamnbekkfløyet and through Sølndalen. We saw a handful of other hikers in two days.
The purpose for our adventure was to discover what awaits in our new backyard. We made a few friends, found new points for hopping off, and enjoyed what we found. Explorations await.