Friday, November 16, 2018

Day 20: Adventures in a Swedish Sauna

Sept 4: Once again, Karolina has provided a guest blog post! This time, I actually requested that if she wanted to write some guest blog posts, THIS DAY should be one of them. She had an adventure of sorts in a Swedish sauna that I was not around for, and I felt the story would be better told from a first-person perspective. So once again, I'll pass the baton to Karolina....

I grew stir-crazy waiting for the boat to arrive.... (Don't worry, I'm just jumping up and down--not into the water!)

*********** Karolina's blog post *****************

Initially I wasn’t going to write this post, but at the end of that day I had certain adventure in a sauna which Ryan didn’t witness and he told me I MUST tell my story to the readers of his blog, so here I am again.

Even though it had rained at night, the morning was sunny and beautiful. Ryan and I took our time having breakfast and packing up camp—our motor boat transportation wasn’t supposed to arrive until 9:15, so we had plenty of time. I took the opportunity and had my breakfast hot that morning—I cooked oatmeal and brewed tea. Life was good!

To our surprise, around 8:00 we heard a motorboat approaching. That couldn’t be our boat ride, could it?! It was way too early! The boat brought a few hikers to our side of the lake and was now sailing away. Ryan and I wished we had known about that extra ride—we wouldn’t have minded starting our day’s hike an hour earlier, while the weather was perfect!

A half hour later, the situation repeated. The motor boat arrived, left a bunch of hikers on the shore and quickly left. Arrrghhh!! Now we had missed not one but two early rides!

Finally, 9:00 o’clock arrived and Ryan and I walked over to the dock. The motor boat arrived a few minutes later, bringing a group of four Swedish ladies. Once the ladies got off the boat, Ryan and I threw our backpacks in, put on the safety vests and took our places in the boat. We were the only passengers traveling with that ride. And what a ride it was! Little did we expect how fast that little boat would be traveling, nor how it would zigzag between poles marking the tight, shallow channel through the lakes. I clung tightly to the bench I was sitting on. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t accidentally fall overboard when the boat was taking one of the sharp turns! That ride almost felt like a roller-coaster!

And our chariot arrives!
When we arrived at the other shore, the woman who drove the boat told us she had to go that fast to keep the boat riding high due to the very shallow water. “How shallow is it?” I asked. The boat driver spread her arms maybe a meter apart. We couldn’t judge that just by looking at the water, though, as it was full of glacial flour and all we could see was its surface.

The woman also told us that the day before she had increased the price hikers had to pay for the boat ride—it now cost 400 SEK per person instead of 300 SEK. The high season for hiking the Kungsleden was coming to an end, which meant there were fewer hikers for each boat crossing. Also, the hunting season for moose had just started, and—since the boat driver was a hunter—she now had her hands full with chores other than transporting hikers from one side of the lake to the other. That meant Ryan and I had to pay a whopping €40 each for a 4 km roller-coaster lake crossing by motorboat. It was a lot, but still better than having to row across that lake. I later found out that even though the lake was shallow, there were strong currents in it that made rowing quite challenging. Allegedly, every week there were hikers who failed in their attempts to row across the lake and needed rescuing.

Anyways, Ryan and I paid for the ride, put our backpacks on and hit the trail. We walked for maybe a quarter of an hour when the path divided in two. We weren’t sure which way to continue. We couldn’t see any trail markers on trees or rocks. Checking the map didn’t help much either—mapping of the Kungsleden around this area seemed to be inaccurate. The trail must have been rerouted after the map had already been printed. We had little choice but to turn around and go back to the lake shore to make sure we were following the right trail. Which we were. So we had to turn around once again and walk the very same path we already had walked twice. We not only wasted about half an hour for backtracking and finding out we already had been on the correct path, but also as we were approaching the lake shore Ryan stumbled on a rock and sprained his ankle. Now he was in pain and limping, but assured me it wasn’t serious and he’d get better soon.

Back at the trail junction, we realized that if we only had walked about five steps further, we would have noticed an information board and clear trail markers indicating which way the Kungsleden went.

The day’s hiking was pleasant and easy. The terrain was mostly flat, the sun was shining and the views were spectacular. The only nuisance was the wind—strong and chilly—which prevented us from taking long breaks. At some point, we passed a tent pitched by a lake that I recognized as Claudia’s tent. How did she pass us?! She was supposed to spend two nights near Skierfe, which means she would be leaving that place this morning—and now she’s suddenly here?! Ryan didn’t even want to believe me that tent was Claudia’s, but I was sure of what I had seen. I started convincing Ryan that Claudia must be a witch. She must have used her magic powers—maybe her witches  broom?—to travel from Skierfe to here. “She’s probably traveling around the Swedish Arctic and collecting endemic herbs which she wants to use to brew her magic potions!” I told Ryan. “I bet that’s why she collected all those reindeer antlers—to do magic!”. I am not sure Ryan believed me, though.

For a lunch break we stopped in a small emergency shelter. Soon after arriving, we were joined inside by two girls from Czech Republic traveling southbound. We asked the girls about the trail ahead and they complained a lot about how crowded it was with French tourists—especially near mountain huts. One of the girls said she had some “typically French conversations” with those French tourists. I was curious what she meant by “typical French conversations.” According to her, it went something like this:

French: Yes, we’ve been to Czechoslovakia!

Czech: There is no Czechoslovakia anymore…

French: Really?! Since when?!

Czech: Eee… for about 25 years…

French: Oh, ah! So… what are you called now?

Czech: “Well, our country is called Czech Republic,  and the one we split from is Slovakia”.

Other annoying things they say, the girl told us, include: “Prague is a very beautiful city, you don’t see the communism at all!” or “How come you managed to learn French?” As if learning a foreign language was rocket science…

“Did you speak English with them?” I asked.

“No, French.”

“See? For them learning a foreign language is rocket science!”

The rest of the day’s hike went by quickly and was rather uneventful. Around 4:00 pm, we arrived at the Saltoluokta Mountain Station where we managed to get bunk beds for the night. We also picked the second mail drop that we had sent from Ammarnäs.

The fee we paid for the beds included access to the sauna, which I was very happy to use. I took my towel and went to another building where the saunas were located (there were two of them, one for ladies and one for gents), leaving Ryan—who isn’t big on saunas—to do whatever he wanted to do.

The sauna was very nice. It had a big window through which I could see the beautiful panorama of the lake Långås, the Lule River (which enters the lake) and mountains surrounding the shores.  Except for me there was just one other woman in the sauna. She was from Germany and had just finished her hike along the Nordkalottleden. We talked a bit about hiking, saunas and mountain huts in Sweden. I asked her about hiking to the top of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden, which she did a few years ago, and I hoped to be able to do that in a few days’ time—if the weather conditions permit. Just when we were done with the conversation, another woman (this one from Sweden) joined us and the three of us sat there in silence, enjoying the warmth and the view.

After about twenty minutes of sweating, I finally decided I was getting hot and went out into the shower room where I quickly rinsed my body with cold water. Then I returned to the sauna. After another ten minutes, I repeated the cold shower. This time, after returning to the sauna, I started feeling funny… It was that weird feeling when you know there is a chance you’ll pass out. I wanted to avoid passing out as much as I could, so at first I laid down on the bench inside the sauna, hoping that would help me feel better. It didn’t, so after a while I went out to the shower room, which was much cooler. I laid down on the floor under the shower and tried to take deep breaths. None of it was helping and I was feeling nauseous.

A few moments later the German woman emerged from the sauna and as soon as she saw me laying there on the floor, completely naked, my face pale as a sheet of paper. She got worried and started asking whether I was okay. The Swedish woman heard the commotion and joined us in the shower room. She said she was a nurse and knew what to do, and that I was in good hands. She asked whether I had eaten enough that day and taken enough salts. She also called another woman from outside of the sauna to bring me a glass of water with salt and sugar.

I told the ladies that I felt like vomiting. I was a little embarrassed, but they told me to go ahead and vomit—after all we were under the showers, so we could easily clean up the mess afterwards. And I did that—I vomited, laying naked on the floor of the shower room, in the presence of two ladies with only towels wrapped around their bodies.

After vomiting, I started feeling a bit better and the German woman told me that the color started coming back to my face. The Swedish nurse told me to keep on laying on the floor and put my legs up against it, which I did (still naked). The third woman came back bringing me a glass of water with salt and sugar. She said that she’s “been there, done that”—she had also passed out in a sauna before. Now, that really made me feel better! Knowing that I wasn’t the only one to pass out in a sauna made me feel a little less embarrassed.

Eventually, I felt good enough to get up. I immediately wanted to clean my vomit from the floor, but the women who had helped me told me to go get dressed and take care of myself and that they would clean the shower room. It actually felt more embarrassing to have other people clean my vomit than to be laying there naked on the floor, but I didn’t have much to say. I got dressed and went back to the building where Ryan and I were spending the night. I was still feeling a little funny and weak, so I walked slowly.

When I told Ryan about my adventure in the sauna he was concerned about my well-being but he also found the whole story funny and told me I had to write a guest post for his blog about it. Later he was so kind to make mashed potato dinner for both of us, so I didn’t need to cook that night and could sit down, relax and focus on feeling better.

Some more funny things happened that evening—when I went out to check outhouses, I lightly sprained my ankle going down the steps of the hostel. In the kitchen, I was hit by cupboard door that got loose and fell down when I was reaching for plates. In the kitchen when we had our dinner, an older Swedish couple was sitting, eating and listening to the radio. When the broadcast they were listening to finished we chatted for a while. They came from southern Sweden and were here on holidays. They stayed in the Saltoluokta Mountain Station and did day hikes in the surrounding Stora Sjöfallet National Park. Ryan told them he would be doing the same when he’s old—staying in hotels and hiking light. That totally—though unintentionally—sounded like he was telling them they were old! Ryan realized that when the words had already left his mouth and he couldn’t take them back. Before the Swedish couple left the kitchen, they offered me some chocolate. I put an innocent smile on my face and nodded shyly, but Ryan laughed out loud. “And is the pope catholic?” he asked. Ryan knows I like chocolate and wouldn’t refuse when someone is offering me a piece. He even says that if he made a path from pieces of chocolate leading to the edge of a cliff, I would totally fall down it. I just hope this won’t be the way he shakes me off one day…

The reindeer curse had finally been lifted! We saw reindeer today--and it never rained the whole day!!!

This was the small emergency hut where we stopped for lunch to get out of the cold and wind.
This was, I think, the only water source on the entire trail that looked... not right! Why are all the rocks in it so red?! Pollution from a former mine, perhaps?

You can see a couple of small white dots on our side of the shoreline near the middle of the photo. That's the hut where we'd be staying the night. The next day, we'd take a boat across the lake to the civilization you see on the far shore near the right side of the photo. Then we'd walk up to the road you see cut through the trees near the shoreline to catch a bus to the next section of trail... but you'll read all about that in the next blog post!

Karolina was excited to find this moose antler in front of one of the dorms at the mountain station.
I (Ryan here!) called my mom to give her an update on my progress and mentioned that I had washed clothes which were now drying in the drying room. She had never heard of a drying room and wanted me to take a photo of it. So this is your photo, mom! =) It's not very exciting... just a warm room (kind of like a sauna, but with fewer naked people) for clothes to dry.
One of the most awesome bathrooms ever! Comics, comics everywhere!
There were several tastefully-decorated bathrooms to choose from. *nodding* I'm not going to post photos of all of them, however. You'll have to drop by for a visit if you want to see the rest. =)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day 19: The Skierfe detour

Happy news! Karolina wanted to write some more guest blog posts, so she took over today's post. I only did the editing (not much--it was quite good already!) and added the photos. =)


September 3: After a rather humid night, we woke up to a nice morning – the sun was shining, large patches of blue sky were visible and even though clouds were many, they were mostly white and friendly-looking. A good morning for the detour we planned–to the top of the famous Skierfe mountain!

The top of that cliff on the right side of the photo... that's Skierfe and our main goal for the day!
We ate breakfast, broke down camp and hit the side trail leading to Skierfe around 7:30. We had 8 km (5 miles) to reach the top, then we would need to backtrack–we were going to return to the Kungsleden at the very same spot where we camped. Initially I had been planning to leave all my gear at the campsite and hike to Skierfe lightweight but Ryan talked me out of this idea. He said the campsite was too well established, so there was a real risk that rodents could make damage to the gear we would leave behind–and certainly to any food we would leave behind. Too bad because food made up the heaviest part of my pack’s content and I would be more than happy to not have to carry it. Now, too concerned about critters just waiting out there in the bushes, willing to grab every opportunity to feast on careless hiker’s resupplies, I was reluctantly carrying my fully loaded pack. 

The first few kilometers of the Skierfe detour were flat and easy to hike. We were walking along the ridge overlooking Lake Laitaure that we had crossed by row boat the day before. On the far end of the lake we could see the place where we had started our boat crossing. Ryan kept on looking back in that direction, hoping he would see some hikers trying to row across the lake. He thought it would be amusing to watch the row boat struggle with wind and turn around in circles just like we had done the previous afternoon. No boat was visible, though.

After a while of hiking we noticed two tents pitched not far from the trail. Outside one of them we saw Claudia. The other tent must have belonged to the couple from Czech Republic who we had first met during the motorboat ride to Kvikkjokk and who we had seen passing our campsite the previous evening.

We waved at Claudia and congratulated her on the great campsite – the views she had were stunning, with Lake Laitaure down below and Skierfe ahead. Claudia was just having her breakfast and told us she was going to start hiking in about a half hour. She was going to leave her tent pitched where it was and hike lightweight, carrying only the things she needed for a few hours’ hike, such as snacks and a camera. I felt so jealous.

In the meantime the trail conditions deteriorated and we entered a wet and muddy area. We were doing our best to not get our feet too dirty and too wet. That required getting off the trail and bushwhacking around large puddles. We could tell we weren’t the first ones to do that–there was a clear network of paths stamped out through the vegetation by previous hikers who had been maneuvering around the most muddy spots and the deepest puddles.

After the muddy area the path started going up. With every step up I my pack seemed to be getting heavier and heavier. I couldn’t stop thinking about Claudia who was going to leave all her gear in her tent. A short while later the Czech couple passed us and neither of them was carrying a pack. I was really regretting not having left my pack at the campsite. I felt like a looser carrying many kilograms of dead weight on my back while other, smarter people enjoyed their lightweight day hike. 

I started making loud complaints about the situation. That got on Ryan’s nerves. He first told me to pour out the 2 liters of water I was carrying. The previous evening we filled up with extra water, knowing from our maps that there weren’t any water sources around our intended campsite and along most of the way to Skierfe. We learned from another hiker who had gone up the day before, however, that there was a small stream available just before the last assault to the top where we could pick up more water, so the extra water was no longer necessary.

That wasn’t enough, though. My pack still felt terribly, terribly heavy and I kept on complaining, pushing the limits of Ryan’s patience even further. Finally, Ryan had enough and suggested in a very nice and friendly way that I better leave my pack hidden somewhere behind a rock and continue hiking to the top of Skierfe without it. Now we were far away from any established campsites, so rodents shouldn’t be a big problem and there weren’t many hikers on this trail, so people shouldn’t be a problem either. I hesitated for a moment, but the idea of lightweight hiking was very appealing, so I did as Ryan suggested and left my pack in a place I considered safe enough. Ryan, however, preferred to keep on carrying his full pack. 

It felt so good to not have those kilograms on my shoulders! I almost felt as if I grew wings, as if something was pushing me up and ahead! I could go fast! I could go far! I was jumping happily from rock to rock, looking back at Ryan hauling behind me, trying not to outrun him too much.

We reached the top of Skierfe at around 10:15. The last stretch was steep and rocky, without clearly marked trail. It was just going up, towards the top. The couple from Czech Republic arrived at the top mere minutes before us. Claudia had been there already for a while, sitting and enjoying the views. Apart from the five of us, there weren’t any other people around.

The view from the top of Skierfe (1,179 m/3,868 ft) was spectacular! According to our guidebook, it was supposed to be the most beautiful view in Sweden–and this might as well be true. The western wall of Skierfe is practically vertical. It overlooks the Rapa River flowing into Lake Laitaure, forming the truly scenic Laitaure Delta. Looking down we could see a network of rivers and lakes. The most interesting thing about them was that some of them had the beautiful turquoise color of glacial flour while others were filled with dark blue water. Trees were growing only along the riverbanks and on the slopes of mountains while most of the valley bottom was covered with yellow-green wet-looking meadows. Further in the distance there were granite rocks and mountaintops covered with snowcaps, and enormous glacier tongues flowing between them. I felt lucky we got to reach Skierfe on a relatively nice morning, with enough direct sunlight to make all the colors and shades visible. Yet, there were enough clouds on the sky to make photographing the panorama difficult–either the lighting was changing too quickly from very bright to very dark or only some patches of the land were lit by sunrise while others remained in the dark shadow casted by thick and heavy clouds.

We stayed on the top of Skierfe for the better part of an hour. Enough time to admire the views (or—as I sometimes like to say— “let our eyes graze on all the beautiful views”), take photos and have snacks. I would have loved to hang out there longer, but it was getting cold and windy. We needed to get moving in order to warm our bodies up and get down to lower elevations and less exposed terrain to escape the wind. The Czech couple left Skierfe maybe a quarter of an hour before us and Claudia intended to still stay there for a while. Later she would return to her camp where she intended to spend the second night. 

Views from the top of Skierfe were absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful!
The hike back to the Kungsleden was rather uneventful. I managed to retrieve my pack from the place where I had left it without any problems. No damage done to my gear! Whew! Putting the large and heavy pack back on my shoulders after hiking for several kilometers with only a small day pack wasn’t fun, though. Earlier, when I had switched from the heavy load to the light one I felt as if I grew wings. Now I felt quite the opposite—my pack was weighing me down. 

Not far from the place where I retrieved my pack, we met the Polish couple, Magda and Kamil. They were going towards Skierfe, of course not wearing their heavy packs which they had hidden among rocks and bushes further down. We chatted for a while, asking each other about further hiking and camping plans. Then we continued our separate ways.

Around 13:15 we arrived at the junction with the Kungsleden where we stopped for a break. Ryan spread his tarp out on the ground to let it dry in the sun. We pulled the map to locate water sources, potential campsites and plan the rest of the day. Originally, we had thought of spending the second night near the junction with the path to Skierfe, after completing the 16 km (10 miles) long detour to the top of the mountain and back. Now, however, we felt like continuing the hike —we didn’t feel tired (the detour turned out to be a relatively easy hike), it was still early in the day and according to our map the next water source and—thus the next possible campsite—was just 4 km (2.5 miles) ahead. We decided to go this extra distance.

As we were sitting near the trail junction making our plans, the Czech couple passed us. They intended to hike as far as the lakes Gåbddåjávree and Gasskajávrre, which they wanted to cross by motorboat that evening. They were on a tight schedule, rushing to complete the Kungsleden before they had to fly back to Czech Republic. That meant that they were going to do longer days than Ryan and I and we wouldn’t see each other anymore. We wished each other happy trails and the Czech couple left.

Eventually, Ryan and I had rested enough, and we were ready to hit the trail too. In the meantime, the weather started changing for worse. Until now, it has been rather sunny, with some friendly-looking clouds covering the sky, now the clouds were becoming more ominous. They covered the entire sky. Rain was imminent—in fact, looking towards Skierfe, we saw a sheet of rain falling down. How lucky we were to have completed out detour while the weather was still good!

The trail continued going slightly up. Far in the distance behind us, we could still see Lake Laitaure where at some point Ryan noticed a small dot moving slowly between little islands. This must have been a row boat! Apparently, some hikers were trying to cross the lake and from what we could see they were doing good—going forward, rather straight.

After about an hour of hiking, we reached the top of the hill where a notice board was placed with information about the next boat crossing on Gåbddåjávree and Gasskajávrre Lakes. According to the notice board, we were less than 2 hours walking from the shore of the lakes and if we wanted to cross them by motorboat, that very spot was the only place where we could receive a signal from a mobile network and make a phone call to arrange the transportation. It was also possible to cross those lakes by rowboat. However, Ryan and I had already decided that this time we would arrange a motorboat. That next lake crossing was 4 km (2.5 miles) longlonger than our previous crossing on Lake Laitaure. Rowing across Laitaure the day before was tiring enough and took a lot of time—we did not feel like repeating the experience, especially when we had no guarantee there would be two rowboats on “our” side of the lake, which would allow us to make a single trip across the lakes.

This sign marks the one place where people can get cell-phone reception to call for a motorboat at the next lake crossing a couple of hiking hours away.

I pulled out my smartphone and dialed the number I read on the notice board. Nobody answered. I tried calling again. This time someone rejected my phone call. Not being successful with phone calls, I decided to send a text message:

“Hej! We are a couple of hikers who would like to cross the lakes from south to north tomorrow morning. If we understood correctly, there should be a boat at 9:30. We tried to call this number, to no avail. We will continue hiking towards the lakes now and won’t have mobile reception anymore. We will be waiting on the shore tomorrow at 9:30.”

Two minutes later, I heard my phone ringing. A woman confirmed that she will pick us from the southern shore of the lakes and told us to be ready and waiting at the dock at 9:15.

Karolina calls ahead to make a boat reservation.
Transportation arranged, we continued hiking and searching for a good place to camp. As it turned out, that latter proved rather difficult… Going down the hill, we spotted a few nice looking campsites. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop at any of them—we didn’t have enough water. We had to continue our hike until we reached a water source. Eventually, we reached a fast-flowing creek where we filled up our bottles and bladders with water. There were, however, no campsites near the creek as the area around was boggy and not campable. We had no choice but to push onward until we found a better place to set our camp. 

We kept on walking and walking across boggy meadows, not seeing any campable piece of ground. How difficult could it be to find a campsite for tonight? We had passed several of them when we didn’t have enough water on us to take us through the night, now that we had water, the terrain wasn’t suitable for camping!

Eventually the boggy meadows finished and we entered a birch forest. The forest was very pretty, with all leaves golden-yellow colors. The fall had started for good in this area! Among the trees, we spotted a campsite we could claim for the night. We put our packs down and before settling for good, we scouted the terrain around—maybe we could find an even better spot. Ryan went further down the trail while I remained near our packs, keeping an eye on them. He was gone for quite a while. He returned with news: we were just about five minute walk from the shore, there were nice campsites , there was an outhouse and he met the Czech couple waiting at the dock for the motorboat. He chatted with them for a while, which was why he was gone for so long. We decided to camp by the shore, so we picked our packs and walk the last few hundred steps.

The campsites were indeed nice. We picked the one closest to the shore. Within the campsite we found a little bench created from rocks and a wooden board and a fire pit. Ryan suggested that we should make a campfire, so while he got to pitching his tarp I went around collecting wood.
Just as we got the fire started and were enjoying watching the flames we saw the Polish couple reaching the lake shore. Ryan went ahead and invited them to join us at the campfire, which they did for a while. They couldn’t stay for too long, though—in about ten minutes, they were expecting the motorboat. They had decided to cross the lake tonight and camp near the Sitojaure Mountain Hut on the other shore. We chatted a bit in Polish and English. Ryan practiced his Polish a bit by asking the couple where in Poland they came from. As it turned out, they lived I a city he was familiar with—Katowice.

Working the campfire--our first on the trail!
The Polish couple gone, Ryan and I continued to enjoy the campfire when to our surprise we heard voices coming from the direction of the lake. It looked like there were people milling around the dock. Ryan went to check this out and found a young couple from Austria who had just arrived in a motorboat, the same one which took the Polish couple to the opposite side of the lakes. The Austrians were looking for a place to camp. Ryan directed them towards free campsites and invited them to join us at the campfire once they settled down. They joined us some time later and even brought some fire wood as a contribution to keeping the fire burning. The four of us chatted for quite a while, exchanging experiences from the Kungsleden and other trails. One of the things we learned was that during the previous summer the Austrians had hiked the GR20 on Corsica  – Ryan and I hiked that trail in 2015. For the young Austrians the GR20 was the first multi-day trek they had ever done and I admired them for choosing a trail with such a high level of difficulty to be their first big hiking experience.

It was already quite dark when the Austrian couple retired to their tent. Ryan and I had the fire going for a little longer. It kept us warm. Finally, we got tired enough. We made sure the fire was out before crawling into our sleeping bags. It had been a very enjoyable evening. 

Karolina blows on the campfire sending a shower of sparks into the air!

Gorgeous, gorgeous views from Skierfe! The turquoise lakes are filled with glacial flour from the distant glaciers. Those dark blue lakes don't have glacial flour and are filled up directly from precipitation or (I suspect) from the glacial-tainted lakes when water seeps through the ground (filtering the glacial flour out of the water) and into the lake.

We couldn't take enough photos from the top of Skierfe!

These are the distant glaciers giving the turquoise-colored lakes their color.

That's enough photos from Skierfe. Time to get down!

Watch out for rock monsters! Unfortunately, the "eyes" of this monster don't really pop out of the photo because they blend in with the background rocks so well. It looked a lot better in person when everything was 3D and the rocks that make the eyes on top of the head are much more obvious because they're a lot closer than the background.

Looking back at Skierfe. (See the glaciers in the distance?)

You can't really see it in this photo because it's barely even a dot, but there's a boat rowing across the lake!
Rainbow on the trail! It's faint, but it's there!
Karolina points out where she thinks the motorboat will pick us up tomorrow morning.

Our ride wouldn't come until morning, but we made it to the "boat place!"
Karolina builds us a campfire!