Day 61 & 62 – Frost & Sunshine

Day 61

I wouldn’t rate a disabled cubical, regardless of dimensions (this one is extremely roomy) a great place to sleep. Maybe it was the permanent lighting, the noise of the air conditioning or its odd rotation between uncomfortable warm air and cold air, but either way…

It was a night of sleeping in blocks of 2-3hrs. I woke at least 4 times in the 7 hours I tried to get as quality rest. Today may be the slowest day and a day of the walking dead. I also feel distinctly dehydrated. Like a moisture vampire invaded my quarters and drained me of every last drop of liquid water. I can even hear the dry rustlings of my blood as it circulated round my body. Each heart beat, a dry sigh. I have coffee though…

Fuel of the gods along side access to water. The latter needs consuming in copious amount before I leave. Disappointed too. That I didn’t sleep well enough to rise and go see if the aurora was visible. I still have a small amount of time to do this, but I would have to leave soon.

In all honesty, it has been one of those nights where I’ve wanted the comforts of my tent. How amusing is that?? The comforts of a shorter that on the whole, is no more comfortable than the ground you place it on.  

So, today I march (there will be no running today! Well, maybe a little if I get excited) towards food. I need to get 4 days worth of calories and get it as cheap as possible. Money is something in a commodity in short supply when you consider how far I have left. Now I sit, drink the remains of my coffee and wander what the weather is like outside. In a tent you kind of know what it will be like before even looking outside. There’s a closer connection with the outdoors. In this building, I could well be on Mars and have no idea about it. Self contained and completely detached. So, it’s time to get myself up and out. Early start means early finish or a greater distance covered. 

Eyes adjust to the lack of light…

The predawn sky a distraction.

I stand transfixed, the cold not registering. Then I look down. All surfaces twinkle like the sky. I test the sandy bank aside the road and it refuses to move. Frozen solid. The decision, although costing sleep was a good one. No icy tent to sort and no calories wasted on trying today warm through the night. A day of walking lies ahead and there is 36km before reaching my food stop.

Crossing the river I stop and stare again. The sun rises on one side and a low most clings to its surface. I have to take a photograph. In both directions. It changes… Morphs as the sun gets higher. Colours shift from orange to pink. Frozen puddles. Crystalline grasses. The pines painted red. Three birds fluttering into the light. Finally…

She is high enough to shine her light between the trees. Sending strands of golden light across my path. The land is more civilised yet beneath it all, nature keeps a firm hold. The forth day I wander south I realise…

The land is changing again. There is more of humanity here, although I am yet to meet anyone since leaving Arvidsjaura. 10km left now. 10km till I look for a chance to recharge batteries, grab food for three days and head to Bjorna. 137km of landscapes before another chance of food. I have set myself a target. A marathon a day is the minimum distance whether walked or run. I will be in Leksand in 15 more days. For now I’ll ponder what path this is that I’ve put myself on…
I found myself running to Lycksele. Not sure where the energy came from. The sun was warm enough for T-shirt and leggings and I enjoyed the feeling of my legs getting tired. The Achilles weren’t as bad today. The quad is sore but again, not as bad. I arrived at Lycksele at around lunch time. Visited the nearest shop and purchased what I thought was 3 days worth of food. £30 it cost and I think I have more than 3 days worth! The bigger towns have cheaper food it seems. I sat outside, eating some roast chicken before wandering off. The ritual of transferring food to ziplock bags took place right outside the shop to a multitude of confused looks from the locals. As I left and began the run out of Lycksele and towards Björna, I noticed a statue in the middle of a roundabout. A moose, sat on a hunter’s hide with a gun in hand. It seems to be the done thing here and I suspect that the animal is then used to feed a family for a fair while as apposed to shot just for sport. Despite the trappings of modern life all around, I think this is a good thing. A link with a past that relied on nature and her currents.

Slowly I walked out of Lycksele. Slowly I climbed the hilly road and eventually came upon my resting place. A dirt track off the main road, close to fresh water. Tent set up, I write some words. I seem to be planning what to do when I return, as though this journey is a done deal. I still have a long way to go and a winter to overcome. Now there’s something else that makes this a more challenging journey when compared to LeJog…

The weather is less than ideal, and unlike LeJog, cold means cold. The sky is clear again tonight and I suspect another frosty start. All layers will be worn in preparation for the cold, but if it means a day like today…  

I guess a cold night is a small price. 

One thought on “Day 61 & 62 – Frost & Sunshine

  1. Sounds a little like my frosty early start, although I had the luxury of a vehicle to take me to an aircraft, to head North versus your South. Another great blog entry!

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