Thursday, June 21, 2012


The second day of Rachael and Sarah's Extravagant European Vacation found the girls
retracing their steps across Oslo in search of Rachael's adventuring wallet.

They never found it. 

Nothing like starting your life over again
with losing your wallet in a foreign country on the first day.

It rained and we celebrated our defeat with cigars.

Showed up at the train station exhausted and disgruntled.


Once on the train Sarah gave me a treasure.
She pulled a fat envelope from her backpack and said
"These are your birthday cards."

You see, she was supposed to save them for my birthday, 
I was supposed to open them in the Alps but Sarah thought I needed them that day.

Inside I found a wild assortment of birthday cards from dear friends, grannies, my church, and other lovely folks I barely knew who had responded to Sarah's request for letters.

I don't even have words.

Oh, I cried.
I never felt so loved, a thousand miles from home.

Best. Train. Ever.

"Traveling – seeing new sights, hearing new music, and meeting new people – is exciting and exhilarating. But when we have no home to return to where someone will ask us, “How was your trip?” we might be less eager to go. Traveling is joyful when we travel with the eyes and ears of those who love us, who want to see our slides and hear our stories.

This is what life is about. It is being sent on a trip by a loving God, who is waiting at home for our return and is eager to watch the slides we took and hear about the friends we made. When we travel with the eyes and ears of the God who sent us, we will see wonderful sights, hear wonderful sounds, meet wonderful people … and be happy to return home."

-Henri Nouwen

Let the wild rumpus start

Suddenly it was time to leave Nordtun.

Last day it snowed.
Tears. Hugs. Packing.
The adventure continues.

I didn't take very many photos.
Except of the dance party.

"Crying is good for you. It releases carcinogens. So you won't ever get cancer!"-Sarah

Four hours of sleep. Early morning. Teary eyed friends. Lovely farewells.

Of course, I'd never seen a morning as perfect as the last one.
Sparkling leaves. Glassy fjords.

Drove to Bodø.
Talegate lunch party in the Airport parking lot.

The SAS baggage lady was amazing. 
She sent my 31.5kilo bag with Tegan to Canada without charging me extra. 

Went into town and had one last coffee with my Danish roommate, Mirjam.

However, our dear YWAM van, decided to break down on the way back to the airport.
I had to push start it, in a dress.

Mirjam flagged down an obliging civilian and I was driven to the airport, just in time. 
I was the last one on my flight.


I literally had five minutes of alone time.
I checked into my hostel in Oslo and made a friend.
She made me hot cocoa and spilled stories from El Camino De Santiago.

At midnight I picked up Sarah from the train station.

Dear, darling Sarah. 
UPS truck collisions didn't stop her from flying across the world to go adventuring with me.

And we adventured.

Sleeping late. Three hour long breakfast. Almond butter on EVERYTHING. 
Vegetables. Vegetables. Vegetables. Smelling the flowers. Palace. Parks. 
Hugging trees. Dresses. Naked statues. Sushi. 8 hour long walk. Best friend. 

Let the wild rumpus start! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kayaking in the North Atlantic

Four days in the North Atlantic.

we had no visits from ice-rain gale hailstorms. 

But rather, perfectly clear skies and 15 degree weather for the first night.

 Hiked to the top of Bolga.

I proceeded in my chacos and had many a skeptical glance from the Norwegians.
Partly because of the lack of "trail" in these parts.
Crawling precariously over moss covered boulders is considered "hiking" here.

It was perfect.

Teams Canada, New Zealand, and America provided the s'mores.
Incidentally, we had introduced them to the Scandis, last week.
I took great delight in watching them gingerly lick their sticky fingers with furrowed eyebrows.

We slept under the balmiest and creamiest colored sky.

Well, we slept eventually.
The sun doesn't set anymore.

Next day,
We kayaked to the farthest western skerries on our little edge of the Atlantic.

We discovered:
Sunken shipwrecks, bright turquoise inlets, and great swathes of edible seaweed.

Our destination was unfortunately covered with international garbage.
 Compliments of The Gulf Stream.

I scavenged an intact eagles skull but the dog had a roll about in it.

Tegan and I introduced "Kumbaya" to our Scandis. Adorable.

Martina, my Swiss friend, sent me off with chocolate and tea.


Also, we adopted a new friend.

Us girls slept on the heather, which smelled like dead animals.

It is appropriate to burn your toilet paper in the Norwegian wilderness, 
opposed to the pack out method we use in North America.

Regrettably, the wind picked up and I lit the hilltop on fire

Then I fell into a pond whilst trying to put out the flames
 and was rescued by a gallant Swedish man.

Who thew himself, selflessly, into my toilet paper inferno.

That's how Rachael almost burned down "Garbage Island"

The rest of the second day Tegan, the Canadian canoe queen, taught me how to paddle. 

Canoeing on open seas and following Lars on a wild hunt for our next campsite.

Jon, the saving Swede, and Lydia rowed like champs and gathered trees for the fire.


Our next camp spot was perfect.

 Øystein boiled a pot of fish, on the rocks, and we had fresh fish soup with rice.

Thunderstorms spilt up our campfire and made for soggy woolen pajamas.

Wild seas and thick, low clouds greeted us in the morning.

My precious chaos betrayed me, whilst bathrooming, 
and I ended up with a barnacle gashed backside. 

Lars led us into the open, white-capped ocean.
We spent the rest of the day fighting and surfing over the huge waves. 

It was delicious.

We regrouped on Bolga. 

Christophe and I commandeered the base boat and took off for home 
while everyone else waited for the ferry.

It was insane.

I sat in the bow of the boat, as we slowly motored home along the raging fjord.
 The sea threw salty kisses and towering waves at us. 

It was a glorious.

My fingers were frozen, icy claws for the rest of the day. 

In other news, North Norway now comes in shades of brown, grey, and GREEN.
Much applause to the leaves that decided to show up (finally)

My life seems to be taking me on a tour of all the beautiful, created things.