I’m preparing for another cold night, but I have a good spot, in some woodland near Matfors. After hours of road, I found a small trail and followed it here. I wandered further and found a set of cabins. All locked but bathed in the wonderful golden light of the setting sun. I should have been setting up my tent but instead I stood and watched as the colour of the light moved towards red. I quickly think back on today as the sun gets lower and lower…
I woke at 2am, cold. When I say cold, it is that borderline between being cold and being warm. The line where the discomfort take over and wakes you. I move around, the heat from my body warming the cold sleeping bag and I doze for 2 hours. I fight with the cold for another few minutes before deciding I need to just give in, get up and eat. I eat the remains of my Brie and last piece of bread. Some water follows it, cold enough to induce a spate of brain freeze worthy of the mightiest crushed ice beverage.
I’m getting warmer. I light my spirit burner. My tent seems dry. The light of the burner covers the tent in an orange glow and I’m mesmerised by the vaporising and condensing beads of ice on the inner shell of my tent. I resign myself to having a cold tent and get inside the sleeping bag, making the most of the warmth I have now. 7am and I’m out of the tent and packing it. The forums around me isn’t frozen and the outer of the tent is dry. Maybe it’s just because of the moisture that my tent is frozen. I wander back to road, following the same path as I used to get here. Passed the ant nest, over the dried out stream and…
The ground sounds like I’m walking on a layer of cheap plastic bags. It’s coated in a thick layer of frost and frozen. The soft verge at the side of the road is indistinguishable from the hard Tarmac when running and after 10k of frosty, frozen landscapes I’m at the shop in Bergeforsen. Breakfast is purchased ready to be eaten later and on readiness for the next day or two.
Leaving, I arrive at the bus stop that faces the sun. The one across the way from me steaming as the frost vaporises. I start to warm up but a bus pulls up. The sun is blocked. The heat is gone and it’s a few minutes before the bus leaves and I feel the warmth again. I write in my journal. I’m finding it difficult to write at times. What do I write?
‘Ran today. Stopped and ate, waved at the cars to say thanks. Pitched my tent and was cold in the night. Woke up and ran again’
Hardly a tale of adventure. But I’m getting off the point…
The bus wanders off and I’m warmed. I check my map and head to Timra, passing another shop and wandering in to look for something warm. The need for warm food is satisfied with a chicken leg, and I’m heading out. The unexpected find of Lidl and I’m sporting a new pair of ladies leggings to help combat the cold. Must be the added cotton for my comfort, but these things are warm!
I decide to skirt Sundsvall, opting to ignore the next shop. I have food enough to cover the distance in two days. Then I realise that the distance is too big. Maybe with a dry tent and dry sleeping bag it wouldn’t be. I stop. Set up my tent at the road side, stretch out my sleeping bag next to it, both in full sun and allow them to dry. If I don’t, the night will be colder than it should be. I check my map again and realise the need to change my schedule. 35km a day is realistic with what I have to do to stay warm at nights and manage my gear properly. I know I can do more, but this is what needs to happen so I create a new schedule. I pack up. Leave my roadside mini camp and head to Matfors. I enjoy running the country roads.
Not quite trail, not quite road and with lots of villages and hamlets full of character. A down hill and I test how fast I can go. That’s stops when I see the E4 ahead again! Best get it over with is the attitude and it’s done with quicker than I though it would be. Another E road and I’m less than 5km from The turning for Matfors, but there’s a trail. I take it and that how I ended up here. I’m preparing myself for broken sleep. Broken from cold since the sound of cars is like a distant breeze here. Matfors is close by and I have a leisurely few days ahead. 35km a day. Just 35km a day.