Driving on a Snowmachine trail?

 

Adventure Tuesday

Christmas

    We celebrated this past Christmas in Bozeman. It has become our tradition, well maybe my new tradition. I have spent several Christmases in Bozeman and each year we always do something new. This year W's dad had booked a forest service cabin outside Butte, Montana. We went skiing in the morning and later on drove towards the cabin. When we got closer to the cabin the wind had created some pretty hardcore snow drifts at places, to the point where the snow drifts were becoming a hazard if you didn't have a truck, and even then. 

    Vi firade jul, som vanligt, i Bozeman, Montana. Det är den platsen jag spenderat mest jular på här i USA. Detta året hade W's pappa bokat en stuga för hela familjen, en som man skulle kunna köra ända fram till dörren. På morgonen började vi köra, mot Butte, en liten stad väster om Bozeman. På vägen dit gjorde vi en avstickare för att åka längdskidor, sedan fortsatte vi lite längre västerut för att åka till stugan. Vägarna som vi åkte på då vi närmade oss platsen där stugan skulle vara, var inte de bästa. Det var mycket snö på vägarna och det var ibland lite svårt att köra, till och med med en pickup.

 
 

Snow Adventure

    At this point we decided to leave the car and all of us got in to the truck instead, with all the food and alike we had brought. We continued on the road, that looked very very much snow covered. I did not feel good about this snow covered road but had graciously been given a first row spot for this adventure, the passenger seat. Probably to be sure that I could see the ditches along the side of the road. And, when I say ditches, I mean more of a hill on the side of the road. We got to a point where we decided that we should probably just walk the rest of the way. I had already put the coordinates of the cabin on google maps, but the cabin was not really close to where we were, it seemed to be off this road, which was weird because you were suppose to be able to drive right up to the cabin. W's mom and I started walking through the deep snow while the guys were going to turn around the truck, on this narrow road. Something I did not want to watch.

    Vi bestämde oss för att lämna Subarun och fortsätta enbart i W's pappas pickup. Jag fick förstås passagerarsätet med den bästa utsikten för denna turen. Medan vi åkte, eller ja försökte åka framåt så kunde jag se hur vägen smalnade av och att vägen var som på en slags ås, med branta sidor som slutade en bra bit ned. Efter ytterligare en bit så bestämde vi oss för att börja gå istället, eftersom det nu var omöjligt att fortsätta med pickupen. Jag och W's mamma började gå, främst för att jag INTE ville se på när de försökte vända pickupen på den här smala vägen. 

 
 

Cabin Hunt

    No sign of a cabin, and at this point I started to get grumpy. W had started walking towards us too now, with a big cooler in tow. But where was the cabin? All of a sudden W starts calling for us and it appears that they found the cabin. Down the hill on the side of the road, was a cabin. We had walked right pass it, that is how far away from the road it was, and this road we were on was most likely a snowmachine trail...whoops. We trekked back to the truck, got all the stuff back into the truck and again I was left with the passenger seat. You could feel the truck slip and slide to the sides, closer to the edge of the road and I was wearing sunglasses, closing my eyes behind them and hoping that we would not fall down the hill with the truck. Luckily W's dad is an excellent driver and finally we got back to the wrong turn. 

    Inte ett spår av denna stugan, som skulle vara i närheten av vägen. Så såg vi W längre tillbaka på vägen, som ropade på oss att de hittat stugan, hade vi gått förbi den? Jo där borta var stugan, en bra bit ned från vägen, även fast man skulle kunna köra ända fram till stugan. Men det var då vi insåg att vi var på helt fel väg, att den vägen vi nu var på faktiskt var en snöskoter väg, och det var därför det var lite krångligt att komma fram. Så, alla in i pickupen igen, jag i passagerarsätet igen, och den här gången blundade jag en stor del av vägen, eftersom bilen började sladda åt bägge sidorna. 

 
 

The Arrival

    We took the correct turn and drove a bit further. But here the road was also looking sketchy because of all the snow drifts. W's dad and mom took the truck up to the cabin with all the gear and food, while we hiked instead. The road was passable, and when we got closer to the cabin W's dad had already turned around and was going to drive back and forth to the cabin a few times to make sure he made a good imprint in the snow so that we could get out the next day. He picked up W and his brother for some extra weight and I continued on to the cabin. 

    Så tog vi till slut rätt väg och kom fram, trots snön på vägen. W's mamma och pappa körde upp till stugan medan vi andra gick hela vägen. Nästan framme mötte vi W's pappa som ville köra ett par gånger fram och tillbaka på vägen, för att packa ned så mycket snö som möjligt. W's bror och W hoppade in i pickupen för att ge lite mer tyngd och jag fortsatte mot stugan.

 
 

Fleecer Cabin

    We had a great afternoon and evening at the cabin. It was nice to finally relax from all that adventuring we had been doing (well to me it was because I was a little frightened by the snow driving). The cabin has all amenities you can think of, a kitchen, bedrooms, a wood stove and even a flushing toilet and shower, cold shower of course. We started a fire in the wood stove as soon as we arrived at the cabin and while the fire started going we got all the gear in. We cooked food, read through the guest log, which is always so much fun, and had a beer or glass of wine while we digested the food in front of the wood stove. Later in the evening we had a bonfire outside before we all went to bed.

    Vi hade en jättefin eftermiddag vid stugan. Så skönt att äntligen vara framme efter vårt lilla äventyr. Vi gjorde upp eld i vedkaminen, packade up och började förbereda middagen. Vi drack lite vin och öl och mös framför vedkaminen, läste böcker och även gästboken som fanns i stugan. Senare på kvällen så gjorde vi även upp en eld utomhus vid vedplatsen. 

 
 

Getting Out!   

    The next morning we had planned on going for some hiking/ski adventures. We had breakfast and a pretty slow start to the morning. The wind had picked up during the night and the road was once again snow covered. At this point W's dad got a bit nervous, because we needed to drive quite far on this sketchy road we came in on, that already then was pretty much snow covered. And in a few minutes, we had decided to leave, like immediately. We decided that we were going to pack the truck, and then W's dad drove it out. We skied out, and it was so windy, and cold, but we finally arrived at the car we left the day before and started to drive out. The road was even worse than the day before and we had some sketchy passages but we all got out perfectly fine! The overnight trip had been a success with plenty of adventures, which is what I wanted so I was satisfied.

    Nästa dag så hade vi planerat att kanske åka lite skidor eller vandra runtom i krokarna. Vid hade en långsam start på dagen och åt frukost innan W's pappa kom tillbaka till stugan. Han hade redan ätit frukost och hade planerat att åka skidor lite längre bort. Men nu var han alltså tillbaka eftersom vinden hade ökat under natten och hela vägen var som igenblåst med snö igen. Han tyckte att det var lika bra att vi åkte hemåt redan nu, eftersom vinden bara blev värre och värre, och snön fortsatte att blåsa till vägen. Det var relativt mycket snö på vägen och vi kom tillbaka till stället där vi parkerat Subarun. W's pappa körde framför oss med pickupen för att platta till snön på vägen så vi kunde köra ut. Och det gick galant. Vi fick en jättetrevlig helg med en massa äventyr, även fast sista dagen fick ett abrupt slut.

 
 

    Did you guys go on any adventures this Christmas?

    Fick ni några äventyr runt jul?

Chena River to Ridge

 

Adventure Tuesday

It takes a community to raise a child?

    As I have mentioned many times before, the community in Fairbanks is very supportive and everyone believes in you. There are many races in and around Fairbanks, by foot, bike, and ski, come summer come winter. Every summer there is this marathon called the Equinox. It's very famous in Fairbanks and everyone participates in one way or another. If you are not in the race, you are very likely to stand by the side of the trail watching it, handing drinks, baked goods or alike to the runners. There is another race in the winter time called "White mountains 100". Basically a 100 mile ski race in the white mountains. That is pretty hardcore. We went to see the start one year and it was so much fun to see everyone prepare before they departed. We have several friends who participate in this race almost every year. Such great spirit.

    Som jag nämnt tidigare så har Fairbanks ett sådant stödjande samhälle. Ingen skulle någonsin höja ögonbrynen åt dig om du sa att du skulle ut på något äventyr. Istället öppnar de helhjärtande upp sig och talar om vad du ska akta dig för, ger dig tips etc. Det finns många tävlingar runt om Fairbanks, skidlopp, cykel lopp och maraton, och på vintern så kan du även oftast välja om du vill åka skidor, cykla eller springa ett och samma lopp. Ett år åkte vi och kollade på starten av White Mountains 100. Det är ett skidlopp som precis som namnet avslöjar sträcker sig 100 miles (161km) in i de "vita bergen". Vi har flera vänner som har varit med i loppet och som forfarande är med ibland. 

 
 

Ski Commute

    When W moved away from Alaska we had spent one winter in the new cabin. I actually can't remember how we transported us to work that winter. I do know for sure that the rest of the winters my main transportation was by ski. Biking works too, but the bike path by our cabin doesn't get plowed regularly and if you have ever biked through deep snow with a mountain bike you definitely know that it takes up all of your energy. Also, if you don't winterize the bike with this "winter fluid" and the temperatures drop to 40 below, the pedals wont catch and they just go around and around and you are standing still.

    När W flyttade ifrån Alaska så hade vi spenderat en vinter i vår nya stuga. Jag minns faktiskt inte hur vi tog oss fram och tillbaka till skolan den vintern, men en sak som är säker det är att resterande vintrar så skidade eller cyklade jag. Mestadels skidande.

 
 

Ski training

    Sometime during the start of one winter I decided to sign up for a ski race. I thought it would be a cool thing to do, especially this one. It's basically up a ridge, along the ridge and then switchback turns to get back down in the end...on cross-country skis. They recommend that you have some type of expertise in cross-country skiing before you sign up. To increase my milage before the race I mostly skied during lunch break and also to and from work. In the evenings, instead of skiing straight home, I skied on all the various trails we have to add up the mileage. The actual ski race was in mid March, and after Christmas happened you could definitely tell that the afternoons and evenings got lighter and lighter, to my advantage because as you might know, I am terrified of the moose. I also skied with a backpack, after all, I am a newbie and I want to bring an extra down jacket, base layers socks...and my camera. This race is completely unsupported, well aside from one aid station at mile 14 (22km).

    I början av en vinter så bestämde jag mig för att jag också ville göra ett sådant där häftigt skidlopp, inte så extremt som White Mountains, men något kortare, Jag började träna, åkte längre skidturer på lunchen och tog längre turer på kvällen då jag åkte hem. Det bästa efter julen och in i Januari- Februari är ju att det blir så mycket ljusare varje dag. 6 minuter för att vara exakt i Fairbanks. Det här loppet som jag anmälde mig till har bara en hjälpstation, eller "checkpoint" och det är inte förrän efter 22km. 

 
 

Racing?

    My goal for this race was not to win, obviously, but to make it. I can ski fast, well not that fast but a pretty decent pace. But I rather ski less fast, so I don't sweat, and I love to take pictures. So not surprisingly, I was the last person to finish the 25 mile race, but that is ok, because at least I made it, and that was my goal. After the fact I also realized that hey, I just did my first marathon, ever, but on skis. I haven't even run a marathon. 

    Mitt mål var förstås inte att vinna, men att komma i mål. Att faktiskt klara av att skida så långt, helt själv. Och varför inte testa på något sådant i en tävling, istället för att åka ut helt själv. När jag var färdig med loppet så insåg jag att jag faktiskt klarat av mitt första maraton, jag har inte ens sprungit ett maraton, utan mitt första maraton var ute i vildmarken i Alaska på skidor!

 
 

Race day

    When I woke up the  morning of the race the first thing I did was to check the temperatures. And it was not looking good, well i had already checked the weather forecast and waxed my skis accordingly. Come race day the temperature read -26F, that is -32C. Great. But I am used to skiing in cold weather so in reality it wasn't really a big deal. 

    När jag vaknade samma morgon som loppet så kollade jag temperaturen. -32 grader Celcius. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger säger dom ju...

 
 

The ridge

    As the sun rose it casted its warm rays on my face and I forgot about how cold it was. These trails are snowmachine trails, so not really the type of ski trails that you might encounter in a more "normal" ski race. I think i smiled the whole way, well, until the end. I accidentally took a wrong turn and wasted some extra time trying to figure out where to go next, the downside of skiing solo in a small race, you are on your own. Overall the skiing was pretty good. Once you got up on the ridge the views were amazing, and you definitely understood why they want you to have done some technical skiing before hand. And yes, the switch back turns they talked about, yeah they were definitely 90 degree turns going down. It was fast and if you didn't turn, well, hopefully a tree would catch you before falling down the side of the ridge.

    I samma takt som att solen steg över åsen som vid skidade uppför så blev mitt leende på läpparna bredare och bredare och jag kunde inte fatta hur kul detta var, och jag glömde helt allt som hade med -32 grader att göra. Att komma uppför åsen var inga problem, inte heller att åka på åsen, men att åka nedåt, snabbt i samband med 90 graders svängningar var lite mer komplicerat, speciellt då man åker nedför en ås med branta kanter. 

 
 

    Have you ever done something that felt out of your league?

    Har du någonsin gjort något som du kände var utanför din bekvämlighet?

Where it all started

 

Flashback Friday

Sommarstugan aldrig någon ro

    One of my favorite places in the whole world is the summer house in Sweden. It's located in the north of Sweden, right by the Baltic Sea, and I have done countless walks in the forest there. Alone for many parts of it. It is something special about going out into the forest and trust your senses, feeling the nature. I knew I wouldn't get lost, because because I had the ocean behind my back and I could always follow the sound. There is a huge esker that you eventually will reach, kind of conforming you into an area that is almost, yeah almost impossible to get lost within. I don't have any digital pictures of the esker, or the forest behind the house, but I do have some other ones, of the water, this endless supply of water.

    En av mina favoritplatser i hela världen är sommarstugan vår familj har uppe i norra Sverige. Sommarstugan ligger precis vid havet och är omringad av tall och granskog. Jag älskar att vandra i den skogen, precis bakom stugan. Jag kände aldrig att jag kunde gå vilse där, eftersom det gick att höra havet bakom dig, och gick man tillräckligt långt så hamnade man på den stora rullstensåsen. 

 
 

An old Legend

    There is an old legend that talks about a hidden treasure, that was buried somewhere in that area way back in the day, when the vikings came. It was a way to save all the treasures that the village had, and someday they would get it back. Although that never happened. The legend says that they buried it at a certain location where you could see the ocean and also the old village.

    Det finns en gammal sägen som handlar om en skatt som blev gömd, uppe skogen då vikingarna kom. Det var ett sätt för den byn att gömma undan deras ägodelar så det senare skulle kunna gräva upp den igen. Sägen säger att platsen de gömde skatten på hade utsikt över både havet och den lilla byn.  

 
 

Fire  

     Once there was a boy who ventured out in the forest to find the treasure. He reached the spot and started to dig, and found the treasure. But when he looked up he discovered that his whole village was on fire, so he dropped the treasure and ran back home to help, through the forest as fast as he could, only to discover that everything was normal back at the village, and no fire had ever happened. He never found that treasure again. That is the legend.

    Sägen fortsätter med en liten pojke som försöker hitta skatten i skogen flera årtionden senare. Han hittar skatten och börjar gräva upp den, men så kollar han ned mot hans by och ser att hela byn står i lågor. Han släpper skatten och springer så fort han kan ned mot byn genom skogen. När han kommer fram finns inget spår av någon brand, och ingen förstod vad han pratade om. Han hittade aldrig skatten igen.

 
 

Treasurehunt

    We searched and searched for that treasure too, everyday was a treasure hunt in the forest. This was before everyone got addicted to screens. Screens and screens everywhere. We were allowed to watch the children's show early in the morning during the summer holiday, and watch a movie or family tv show in the evening. But that was it. This was back in the day when people hung out more with each other, children ran around in the forest and played with cones and sticks. Before we knew what a cellphone was and that we someday would become so detached to society as we are now. 

    Vi letade också efter denna skatt, varje dag var som ett nytt äventyr. Det var innan barn i alla möjliga åldrar blev beroende av skärmas, dessa skärmar överallt, Ipads, Iphone osv. Vi fick kolla på sommarlovs morgon på morgonen och ibland blev det en film eller någon familje show såsom allsång på skansen på kvällen. På den tiden, som faktiskt inte är så länge sedan, så lekte vi skogen, med kottar och stenar. Det var innan vi ens visste vad en mobiltelefon var. Innan vi blev så oerhört beroende av skärmtid och så avskärmade från samhället som vi är nu.

 
 

Fishing

    We fish a lot up there. Dad and I have gone countless times out on the ocean to lay out fishing nets in the evening, and fetch them early the next day before the birds get to the fish. All of these pictures are between 7-11 years old. I have not been to the summer house since 2009, which is very very sad. I really want to go there sometime soon, and bring W and show him all the great places up there. Take him out fishing, go sauna and all other wonderful things you can do up there. 

    Vi fiskar mycket när vi är där uppe. Pappa och jag har åkt ut i båten tusentals gånger. Vi lägger ut nät på kvällen och går upp tidigt på morgonen dagen efter för att kolla näten, innan fiskmåsarna äter upp fångsten. Alla dessa kort är mellan 7-11 år gamla, och jag har inte varit tillbaka till stugan på 7 år. Det är så himla ledsamt att det gått så lång tid sedan jag var där sist. Jag vill så himla gärna visa W vår stuga, och ta med honom på alla små äventyr man kan göra där uppe. 

 
 

Where it all started

    The summer house is also where it all started. This endless supply of raw nature, the forest and oceans. It's quite remarkable how affected you can get by nature. This is where i made up my mind, without knowing it, way back in time, that the environment is what I am going to care about, what I am going to study. That summerhouse is the reason I am where I am today, the reason why I went to Alaska, the reason why I study what I do. The summer house is the reason to why I will try to save the world from people like this country's current president.

    Det är vid sommarstugan som allt startade. All denna natur, skogen och havet. Visst är det häftigt hur mycket naturen kan påverka en. Det var där jag bestämde mig för vad jag ville göra med mitt liv, utan att ens veta om det då. Det är landet som är i grunden och botten på alla mina beslut jag tagit och anledningen till att jag är där jag är nu. Anledningen till att jag ens åkte till Alaska från allra första början. Sommarstugan är även anledningen till att jag ska försöka rädda världen från människor som den nuvarande presidenten i detta landet.

 
 

    Do you have a place like that, that shaped your future?

    Har du något ställe som har format din framtid?

High Mountains and deep Valleys

 

Flashback Friday

Donnelly Dome

 
 

    Way back when, when I was still living in Alaska we went on a hike a couple of hours east of Fairbanks. We went to Donnelly Dome, which basically is a dome in the middle of a large valley, surrounded by mountains. If you climb it on a gorgeous day, you will have an epic 360 degree view. And we did.

    Då när jag bodde i Alaska så tog vi tillfället i akt och åkte ett par timmar österut från Fairbanks. Det var senhöst och färgerna var sådär exploderande fina, så som det blir där på senhösten. Om man klättrar uppför Donnelly Dome (ungefär 1000 m hög) på en vacker dag, så får man en helt fantastisk 360 graders vy av hela området och dessa vida vidder, helt underbart!

 
 

    I love the fall colors, and especially that red color that the tundra gets. The area around Donnelly Dome is so beautiful. Tons of small lakes, tundra, spruce, high mountains, rivers and everything in between. And lots of moose too!

    Jag älskar dessa höstfärger, speciellt den där mörka röda färgen som tundran får sådär på senhösten. Hela området runt Donnelly Dome blir så himla vackert. Där finns det en massa små sjöar, oftast med en älg vid strandkanten, höga berg, djupa dalar och allt däremellan!

 

But what about northern Wisconsin and beyond?

 
I do like the UP, there is something about it up there, it's like Alaska or something, I mean, that's the only place I have been in all of the United states that reminds me of all of the UP. It's like a separate kind of place you know, with their own deal. Plus everybody really needs each other up there, you know, there's no joke I mean in the winter up there, you better damn well know your neighbors up there. If you see a car stalled you better stop. That's what it takes to build a community. You got to need each other and they still do in the UP so that's a cool place. - Greg Brown
 
 

Wednesday Thoughts

The North Woods

    If you drive far enough north you will reach the end of the Wisconsin border and hit the Michigan border, and once you are across the border into Michigan you will be in the UP as they call it. Northern Wisconsin is called the North Woods, by some people including us. That is where we go to get our snow and deep forest fix. A few weekends ago we went there with a bunch of friends, and of course as always, a snowstorm was coming through right as we started our journey up there. But, we made it, and had a great weekend. Well, we didn't bring our skis which was a bummer since we got tons of snow, but we went for some hikes in the woods. I love walking through snowy forests, it's one of the best things I know.

 
 

A little bit of Sweden?

    Wisconsin does look like Sweden a bit, well a tiny bit. There are lots of small lakes here, and up in the North Woods too. There are many many other tree species and plant species though, that I don't recognize from home, neither Sweden or Alaska. This summer (I know this was the goal last summer but for real, this summer..) I will try my best to learn some more about the plants in this region. I think I did pretty well this past summer though, we hiked in a lot of different state parks and I tried to identify as many flowers and plants as I could along the way. 

    How about you? Are you a fan of walks through the forest? Or would you rather be in the mountains, or maybe on the tundra, or just downtown?

 

Dreaming about Snow!

 

Flashback Friday

Snowscapes

    I don't know about you, but I have been dreaming about fluffy snow. I miss the deep snow we used to get when we lived in Alaska. Some years we did get less than others. This year they have received so much snow though, and it makes me sad that I am not there. 

 
 

Did you guys receive a lot of snow where you live? Or do you just want spring and summer to arrive?