Røldal Part II — Hike to the Heights
Benjamin Antoni AndersenAdventure Stories
There is something special about finding a place away from the beaten track.
It doesn’t have to be the most astonishing place in the world, but it is wild and untouched, and for that moment it is yours alone.
Except of course, it isn’t completely yours alone. Because Asbjørn, the Norwegian cold-proof, forest-hardened legend himself is also there. And behind him is the view that opened up as we crested our off-path hill.
I remember we climbed up on the leeward side of the steep hill. And then, when we peeked over the top, discovering an entirely fresh view of the whole valley, the wind suddenly roared over us.
Speaking of roaring.
Earlier the same day, we were driving down the road towards the hill, and we passed one of the larger waterfalls in the area. The way it carves its way through the cracks in the mountains, and cascades down into a pool of crystal clear turquoise water, blew me away the first time I saw it.
Next time I saw it, it blew me away again.
After leaving the waterfall behind, we parked our car and hiked towards the intended hill, and when we came to the foot of it, we went off the path and followed a creek and occasional sheep-paths upwards.
Somewhere along the way, I stepped in the creek, and chose to walk barefoot for the remainder of the climb.
To me, being in nature is a lot about being alone, or only with the closest of friends, away from the noise. Normally I’m hyper-social, always wanting to be surrounded by friends, but to leave the beaten path to walk alone every now and then is necessary.
Taking a deep breath, I try to appreciate the small things as I pass. Not only the large obvious views, but how clear the water is. How green the grass is. How many shades of green moss there can be on a single rock. We even spotted a lemming peeking out of its hole on our way.
And then, whenever we turned from the details and looked up, there were endless hills and snow capped peaks all around.
Sorry to make you jealous, but this was one glorious day. And there are more like it to come.
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