It Was a Golden Day

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Large tree PHOTOBOMBS!!



finished at sunset. yep.

Roller Coaster Complete: 6.3 Miles on the AT

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Ten days ago we did 7 of the 13.3 miles between Ashby Gap and Snickers Gap on the Appalachain Trail. Turns out we did the hard part first. Yesterday, we finished off the segment, starting on Jen’s road and heading down to Route 50. Esther and Chris joined us.

The hike is in our back yard. If you know where you’re looking from Bear’s Den, you can see the monastery.

Ashby gap (on route 50) to Snickers gap (on route 7) is in our back yard

What was most striking was the difference that 10 days make in the woods. Though our hike was much warmer, there were not many leaves left!

Start on Jen’s Road

We saw some lichen. Or was that moss?


Moss and lichen


Uncle Chris

Roller Coaster complete! (shew)

We took the yellow car back to the truck.

Appalachian Trail, a patchwork quilt

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A Square of Paw Paws


A Square of Oaks

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Crazy, Mixed-up Square


The Tester


The Quilters


A masterpiece!

Seven Mile on the AT (in the backyard hike)

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Start 4.5 miles from home (less than a mile from Jen’s house). Hike seven miles. Is it a roller coaster? Yes it is.

Seven mile.

Here is the story in pictures.

Park the truck on Jen’s road.

Foundation (not the Asimov one)

Orange sprite.

Lunch spot off the trail

Up to this point, we saw 7 people (one walked by while we were eating lunch…going our way). 6 Were going the other way.

Lunch WILL be here!

We were passed by an old man with a stick. He was on his way up and then back down.

Jack and I stayed in this shelter in the rain when he was 5

The roller coaster ends at Bear’s Den. Shew!

Bear’s Den feet of the orange sprite…which are purple?!

Home field advantage (monastery from the hill).


The Hike! Don’t Forget the Hike!!!


Humans hiking is a-ok. Specially in Nor-way.


No Sun, Yes Murderous Troll



Here’s looking at you!


Yes, go UP!


Bearable Beauty 


Snacks, Naps and Maps


From Up


Downward magical, too.


And Scary for Some…


Because you don’t want to be It’s Dinner!



Nearing the end. only 2 kilometers to go!



13.8 Miles in the Mountains of Norway in Skarvheimem


The rockslide helped. Our original plan was to start hiking just down the road from the Skarvheimem cabin and walk 19km (11.8 miles) along the river bed. Just a few km in, a change of plans due to trail damage had us hike up over a ridge instead. This added 3.2km longwise and a whole bunch of vertical. The distance was not the issue, as you may imagine! Here is a photo documentary of the walk.

Morning view from the cabin

Ready to hike?

We started at a little restaurant/camp area where we ended up (8 hours later) having dinner. Getting started was a thing. By 10:30, we were walking.

Stopping for photo opportunities was a must. We had more cameras than people on our hike. Good news: the tripod actually got used!



The valley hike was very pretty, but in the end we were really glad we had to hike up over the ridge.

Don’t get too close to the edge!

Lunch break. We were joined by many lemmings

There was some wind at the top of the cliff.

And then it was down, down, down. Hard on the knees. The trail was so steep that in places metal cables had been installed. Those were a good thing.

Waterfalls, rock-covered trail, going up when you should be going down, and never quite getting to the water were all things. The wind was impressive when it was funneled up the valley and concentrated into tight eddies.




The sun peeked out occasionally with spectacular long yellow light.


Finally a road. The pace sped up as a taxi was summoned. We made it back in time for dinner, though walking up the three stairs to the restaurant was not easy!

This hike is among the most beautiful I have ever experienced. More is in order.

Rain, Clouds, Wind and Awesomeness in Norway


Our second day in the mountains was a rainy day, so we donned our weather gear and hit the mountains for a short hike anyway. The site was almost like being underwater. Strange flora and miniature fauna. Squishy moss. Slippery black goo. Rocks. Rain. And fog.

The view


Up and up to around 1500 meters.

And then back down.

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