Sunday, May 18, 2008

Times Up.

Everything in the last nine months has gone so fast.
Everything in the last two months seems to have gone even faster.
After arriving back in Norway, home from my trip through China, so much has happened.
Snow caving, a trip to Fauske to hang out with a crazy norwegian snowboarder and help run his youth programs, a few weeks of teaching, a trip up taukeheimen (one of the most beautiful cabins I have had the privilage to stay in), sea kayaking, my birthday (complete with a solo night) and 17th of May celebrations.

I guess i should probably go a little more in depth to some of that...

My time in the fog:
Taukeheimen is a small cabbin, the hom of the Fog, if you translate the name. It sits on a ridge that climbs up the side of the tallest peak in the area and is located above Svartesen, a glacier, that for the last 2000 years has been etching its way down the side of a mountain carving itself a cradle of streaked, multicoloured rock.
For us, this place was the home of the rediculous wind. Hiking up the ridge we leaned into the wind, letting it hold us up so we wouldnt get blown off the edge. Moments of calm would come sporadically, moments only long enough to let us hear the next gust of wind racing towards the group about to smack hard enough in the face that we could feel it like a heavy slap.
At the top the wind didnt cease, but at least it blew away the clouds, the rain, the snow, the fog, everything. The skies were clear and blue, the sun shined down brightly and warmed us all, and the ground was still blanketed in a cover of snow. There isnt much else to do in times like that but revel in its beauty and have fun. Fighting for a ridge as others tried to climb the overhung snow cliff, and then jumping off, falling 4m and sinking into the snow to your thighs.
The cabin was beautiful, a warm oasis of peace in that windy place, but we still wanted to go for the peak. Unfortunately, however, we only made it half way, but we worshiped and praised none the less where we were.
In a land covered in snow the downward trip is always more fun. What took us an hour and a half to climb up, gave us a descent of about 5mins as we slid down at high speed. As i was flying down the hill on my butt, getting a face full of snowy, icy spray i glanced to my right; Nick, being the ever optimistic adrenaline junky came speeding past, face first, penguin style, down a slope that was too steep to see down and that we didnt actaully hike up. He managed to dodge all the rocks luckly.
So that was my week amongst the clouds that had left.

My birthday!
22, sounds old to me, makes me thing i should be responsible or something, i guess some friends are getting full time qualified jobs this year or next, scary thought...
May babies are plentiful here at base, Nick on the 2nd, Madara on the 7th, Me on the 8th, Arslan on the 16th, Lars on the 17th, Oystein on the 18th. It's crazy and feels like a big long party that coming to an abrupt end in a week when we all leave...
I guess my birthday was an interesting one this year, we were kicked out of base, into the wind and the rain. Given a tarp and some string and whatever else we chose to bring to wear we were dropped off along the side of a road and told to be back the next morning. great way to spend your birthday aye? alone in the bush, with the rain coming down, not hard but light enough to drench you without noticing too much until its too late. But it was fun, a night alone hearing the rain come down, a suprise visit from the staff bearing freshly backed brownies and coffee! Not to mention a great time just hanging out with God, just chilling, chatting and watching the world go by as sheets of rain came down.

Floating about in a piece of plastic:
We went down south the other day, to paddle around the scattered islands in a fjord next to ours. It was nice, reminded me of my rowing years. The weather, as always, we a little bit messed up, bright sun shine, then over cast, the snowing big fatty flakes as the Anne, the alaskin calls them. then right back to sunshine, all in the space of 15 mins. Things wernt looking to promising for the trip as we arrived at the launching spot. Fortunately, as always, well amost always, the weather was on our side and the skes cleared and the rest of the day was bright and warm.
We ended up on a small island with 3 inhabitants who harvest down from a bird, they spend half a year collecting 1kg of down thats worth about $4000 and make quilts worth $10,000. The down is so special and so light they use to make -60c expedition sleeping bags and what not. we got to hold a ball of the stuff that was about the size of a footy, it was a strange experience, as you could feel it in your hands but it had next to no weigth and felt like nothing was there.
Our last two nigth were spent on lovan, the home of the puffins (small with brighly coloured beaks.), where each summer hundreds of puffins return home to their nests, find their mate (they have the same one throughout life) and make a single baby, then fly off again. the rest of their lives is spend at sea, when they're home most of their time is spent circling the island, again, and again, and again until about midnight when they dissapear, strange birds...
more crazy weather as we hiked to the peak, it was snowing but the skies were blue and the sun was out, it was nice.

So, i've tried a quick catchup on all the things i've done, i could sit and write for hour but its my last week and i would prefer to be outside! hope this satisfies, anyway, ill be home soon and can tell you all in person!

have a good one!

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