Monday, November 5, 2018

Day 15: Watch out for man-eating dinosaurs!

August 30: It continued to rain for most of the night and into the morning, so Karolina and I slept in late and hoped the rain would stop. The rain stopped at around 9:00, but it looked like it could start again at any time. Was the weather trying to fake us out? Should we wait a bit longer?

We continued lingering in camp but slowly started packing up. By 10:00, the rain was still holding off and we figured it was time to hit the trail, so the last thing I did was take down my tarp.

We started walking, and within two minutes, it started raining again. ARGH!!!! Stupid rain! It was so demoralizing.

But we were packed up and ready to go, and we packed for rain. (We aren't that stupid!) So Karolina put on her red cape and I put a poncho on my pack and we headed up the trail.

The trail climbed uphill toward the high point of the day for a couple of hours, rising above treeline where the strong winds whipped at us. The weather was terrible!

Near the high point, we reached the bottom of a prominent mountain that was shrouded in fog and mist and--to me, at least--looked like a prehistoric setting and I joked with Karolina to watch out for dinosaurs. "They'll shallow you whole!" I warned.

This is the mountain that looked to me like something out of Jurassic Park. There might be dinosaurs there!
 For hours we hiked through the buffeting winds and rain, anxious to reach a small shelter up the trail where we could escape the elements, and covered the distance in three hours of non-stop hiking.

Maybe five minutes before arriving at the shelter, the rain finally stopped. I shook my fist at the Kungsleden. Why does the Kungsleden hate us so much?! The rain starts when we start hiking, then ends when we finally reach a place to get out of it. It's like the trail was deliberately mocking us.

As we approached the shelter, we met a woman leaving the hut hiking in the other direction who said she had spent the night in the shelter, wanting to wait out the rain. Weather forecasts, she explained, predicted a much better afternoon. We could hope!

Now that we had reached the small shelter, we were glad for the time to rest. The three hours it took to reach here were brutal and we needed the break and a little food in our bellies.

Several minutes later, four other hikers arrived--hiking in the opposite direction as us who were hiking in close proximity to each other because they all took the same charter boat across the lake from Kvikkjokk earlier that morning. One was German--no surprise there! Another was from Holland. A little more unusual, but not surprising. Even the guy from Spain wasn't too surprising even though he was the first and only Spaniard I had met on the trail. But the fourth person was a woman from Columbia which surprised me a lot. I bet this trail doesn't see a lot of people from Columbia on it! I joked about the weather probably not being what she's used to.... A little different, I'd imagine!

Our lunch shelter

The four hikers continued southbound while Karolina and I finished eating snacks and using the two-seater outhouse nearby. To be clear, the outhouse was a two-seater, but we used it one at a time! Karolina and I are good friends, but we're not that good of friends. I don't think I'll ever want to share a two-seater privy with anyone! ;o)

But then we continued on our way and the rain finally stayed away, and at times, the sun even peeked out of the clouds! And we saw lots and lots of reindeer. (Obviously--that would explain the rain again!)

We didn't take a lot of breaks after that, but we did take a few short breaks and finally made it to the shore of a large lake that separated us from the small town of Kvikkjokk and our next resupply point on the other side. We arrived at the lake's shore at around 7:00 in the evening--quite late by our standards and long after the last charter boat shuttled hikers across at 2:30 in the afternoon. And there were no rowboats available for us to row ourselves across. Nope, we were stranded here until the next motorboat arrived to shuttled hikers at 10:30 tomorrow morning.

We searched the shoreline between a small shelter where hikers can wait for a boat out from the elements and the dock for a place to set up camp, but there was nothing. The shore itself was muddy and the lake water high, and we were surprised that we couldn't find even a small spot of dry land just to camp, so we resigned ourselves to sleeping in the small shelter. There was a table with 'benches' wide enough to sleep on around three sides of the shelter and we set up camp.

The weather was brutal! Very strong winds and rain!

This outhouse was the only kind of its type on the trail....'s a two-seater!

One of my favorite snacks on the trail: a tortilla covered with cheese then covered with salami. Yum! =)

This sign had information about the charter boat across the lake--4 km away!

This is me trying to get a photo of the small cascade of water with my fancy camera.
This is the photo I took!
Here's another photo of me taking a photo of this small waterfall.
And this is the photo I got! (Turned out pretty nice, I think. *nodding*)

This anthill is about as tall as Karolina! (I had her get in the photo so you could see just how tall the anthill really was.)
Our home for the night!
I think I'm actually eating breakfast the next morning in this photo. It's a small space. *nodding*


Anonymous said...

Great photos of the waterfalls
-Bon Echo

Michael said...

I really appreciate how Ryan's newer adventures have *a lot* more pictures in them. They really help to capture a sense of the location, including cascading waterfalls.

Amanda from Seattle said...

everyone is always asking me if Ryan is surviving without poptarts.....poptarts were one of his staple hiking foods on the AT and for many years and then one day, he just decided he was sick of poptarts. So the tortilla with cheese and pepperonis is a new staple of his hiking diet. We see it both domestically in the USA and internationally.