Cycle Norway

"You know, this is the wettest, coldest year in a hundred," was a common reminder from Norwegian locals. Like an Oregon winter, really.

One word prevailed over us, Kyrksaeterøra. We never did manage to say it right, and how we tried. Something like, "Cheer-keh-say-torah," but actually nothing like that at all, because others told us we never quite got it. Regardless, it was the second stop on our mid-coast bike route from Trondheim to Tingvoll and a pretty dang good respite. We also made our acquaintance with one charming Welsh cyclist, Thomas Prichard, who as time passed became a dear friend. More on him later in these stories.
What the locals said was true, by the way, 2015 really was the coldest, wettest year in a hundred based on Norway's records. For the most part we did alright, but there were times that I was angry, or scared, or simply at my wits end. I was visibly at my worst when setting up or tearing down our damp campsite. There was one thought and goal that helped us to press on over fjord passes and through gale force torrential winds, that in a handful of days we had a cozy farm with room and board to work on. And so with the hope of WWOOFing we encouragingly rode on.
Goodbye May, Baløbe, & Arron: June 25, 2015
“A cloudy morning in Trondheim became wet, to wetter as we left May’s home for Orkanger. I tried to track my phone before we left, but had little success.
It will make our mothers happy to know that leaving the busy streets of the city was quite safe, and there was a bicycle path for much of the journey that kept us off the highway. Later this became the old road that avoids the E39 tunnels. Our camp was along the river path in Orkanger: ‘Everyman’s Right.'”
Orkanger to Kyrksaeterøra: June 26, 2015
Although we could not see it falling, the ripples across the river beneath us told us it was raining. It was clear to us this was going to be a dreary day based on the sky and overall temperature, but we were by no means prepared for the landscapes that awaited us. Despite the very cold and very wet conditions–Norwegian summer feeling like an Oregon winter–the ride through high prairies, gravel roads in broad farmlands, mountain highways, [past] alpine lakes, summit lakes, narrow canyons, mountain marshland passes (resembling Scotland), and eventually another fjord road left us without proper words to describe the awesome nature we found ourselves in. The Snillfjorden alone, especially the village Berdal, was like a mixture of PNW forests, timberline, eastern desert, beacon rock and jurassic park. The trees grew horizontally from the mountainside!
Community & Catch-Up: June 27, 2015
What unbelievable favor!
Although this entry comes first chronologically, I am actually writing it after the next entry. It is a supplement. my phone has finally been cleared from customs, but I do not know whether it is being sent now to Trondheim or to Meisingset. Time will tell. Although my pone remains MIA, we are in fair shape. I managed to download the same Norwegian topo map to Katy’s phone and it tracks our GPS position with it, even though she doesn’t get service on her iPhone 4. Having internet at our camp has allowed us to plot a new and more relaxed trek to our next couple of destinations.
It is possible that Steffan and Evelina will pass us on their way back from the end of our current coastline. If so, they will honk and wave. I also gave them my card and hope they will visit us in Portland someday.
When our new friends had departed Katy and I took care of ourselves with a bit of food, clean up, reading, sun bathing and shopping before a second round of food. Apples, salami, brown cheese and crackers for lunch. A beef roast and veggies, and potatoes with gravy for dinner.
It is now after 1o pm, and sunlight still graces the fjord cliffs across from us. Lights out.
Hemne Kirke: June 28, 2015
“‘And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O King! Why is it throught incredible by any of you that God raised the dead?’ – Acts 26:6
There loomed a longing for real, intentional community today. It is a Sunday, and as such church attendance seemed in store. The only church in Kyrksaeterøra, Hemne Kirke, however, was not holding a service. It is my belief this congregation meets at 1 of 4 parish locations each week. And thus we held our own service of reading and prayer on the ground overlooking a lake on one side, a fjord on the other, and [itself] overlooked by many sheer cliffs. Later at camp a german speaking man yelled at us for burning wood to make crepes, because it was sunny out. And even later another cyclist arrived, Thomas Prichard. He lives in Lillehammer, and is from Wales. [He] hurt his knee in Åndalsnes, and snowboards.”
Kathryn Is 30 Years Old!: June 29, 2015
“It is quite interesting to think that when the day is half done here, it has hardly begun at home. The thought crossed my mind around lunchtime, when I was told that Katy was born around 4:30 am, and that it hadn’t turned 3 am yet at home. All that is to day, Katy turned 30 around 1 pm [Norway time] today. : )
At that hour we were scurrying around camp, getting ready for our departure. Coffee with Tom in the hut turned into coffee with Tom at the town bakery. On our way there we crossed paths with another cyclist, named Singa, who had been touring since Germany, and who definitely looked the part. She told us to dumpster dive at Bunnpris, since they toss plenty of good food all the time–It’s mostly true.
We left town around 5 pm–our latest start yet–until then the weather had been fair, if not mildly wet. Now that we were riding again, however, Norway decided to unleash its fury upon us. Crossing the second pass and down into the Årvågfjorden was like descending crown point, if it were many times longer, only the weather we encountered I’ve only encountered elsewhere when I’m in such places as the upper flanks of Mount Hood or Shasta. Alarming would be a rather mild way of describing the squall-like conditions.
Given that we were soaked to the skin head to toe, and it was still raining out, we opted to splurge on a camp cottage rather than the tent. Tea and hot chowder it now is, in the land of mechanically gargling sounding birds. Oh! We also met a nice frenchman named Judekiah. He was quite nice, and had been cycling since Kristiansand.”
Aure to Halsa: June 30, 2015
“‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out of the womb, when I made clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band,’ – Job 38:8-9
Today’s journey was through over 50k of rugged landscape, crossing three fjords–two by ferry and one by bridge–and countless cold looking mountainsides. The rock especially looked cold, and although yes it was damp, I feel it would look cold in 100 degree conditions. It’s in the north.
Even so, Katy and I found our thoughts often turned to plans for back home, whether rides or wood cutting, and feel homes environment truly is just as incredible a place as this. Washington is more similar, but the PNW and Canada’s B.C. areas combined are about the size of Norway. Tonight we are on the edge of another fjord, sleeping across from Tingvoll, where Sneglebo is. : )”
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