I wandered up a local mountain called Jendemsfjellet the other day. Come and join me, won’t you?
First we’ll wander through a lush boreal forest with a thick layer of green carpeting the ground. The low sun will be filtering through the trees, and even the darkest depths are sure to be glowing and alive. Lichens and mosses will be almost dripping from the branches.
Every so often, the trees will part and you will be able to see down to the valley and villages below. There’s quite a cool old farmhouse in a clearing.
It won’t look too cold, but it will be pretty chilly. There’ll be a layer of ice a few inches thick completely covering the trail in some spots. This area goes through cold and warm snaps, so the snow melts and then the puddles and streams of water freeze completely solid. Yay for YakTrax!
The trail has its steep sections; here you’ll have to pull yourself up a rope. It was probably once used to tie a small fishing boat to a dock.
I guarantee you it’ll be worth it, though. Soon you’ll be able to see down to the fjords and sleepy fishing villages. Nearby here is one of the biggest candlemakers in Norway. The sky here is enormous.
Wen we arrive at the top, the colors will become brilliant and saturated. You’ll see hues of purples and blues and reds that you didn’t even know existed. Many of the small mountains here in Norway have small rock piles at the top. They’re varde — the Norwegian word for cairn — and they signify the highest points around.
So we’ll reach the top, sit by the cairn, and stare out at the North Sea as the sun sets. Pretty nice, eh?
Sonja, ever watchful, will be looking out for mice to chase.
In Greek mythology, Hera put Hermes on trial for killing the monster Argus (Hera’s favorite servant). The other gods served as the jury and were told to throw the pebbles at whoever they thought was in the right. Hera and Hermes argued their cases, but Hermes did it so well that he was buried under the pebbles. That’s how the god of overland travel became the first cairn.
Anyway, the sun will set.
And the sky will turn bright orange.
And we will sprint down Jendemsfjellet’s snowy slopes before darkness arrives.
Maybe we won’t make it. That would be nice, because we’ll see the cozy warmth of the villages below as people flick on their lamps and light their fires.