Country: Finnskogen forest
Date: November 17 2014
Coordinates GPS: N 60° 5'37.53'' E 12°20'50.64''
Track: Smorholmen Lake (second step)
Temperature: min -3° max +8°
Equipment list: compass, work gloves, map, insulation mat, multitool, thermal blanket, stove, fire stell, tarp, cords, water pot, scotch tape, sketch book, pencil and camera.
The forest is a natural cathedral, an arboreal shrine, an elite place to breathe silence and to cross its wild forest bulwark.
The preparation takes me a long time, especially since the climate has changed and I try to make a careful selection between water-proof clothing and emergency equipment.
The path is hostile and at times very swampy - Norwegians call it "MYR" - it’s a land soaked with water, where the feet sink as in quicksand; a step is like five and one doesn’t seem to advance at all.
Everything is decomposed humus: “locus horridus”, but sublime to the sight and smell, everything is water and chlorophyll.
My steps perceive a real sense of danger; the environment dominates.
I climbed the stream stretches thinking of reaching the lake, but I always find myself in front of a chaotic barrier, a maze of conifers and so the perception of space vanishes. (The birches dropped by beavers are like bridges that I use to cross the more swampy areas).
I can go even beyond those woods, but going through it, seems but a matter of mindset.
I saw two huge mooses and a small white ermine, which were are too quick to be photographed; on the ground there were skulls and bones of animals. (forest archaeology)
Numerous trees fell because of snow and water weight. Huge uprooted trees created caves and holes in the ground similar to Trolls’s danes. To cross them I have to go around them or get into the intricate branches webs.
The thoughts were accompanied by London’s suggestions: my Klondike was in front of me and its gold was the green path.
The trail is marked by little old and faded blue circles. I have the map with me, but it’s old and inaccurate. I cannot remember how to use the compass, the GPS does not work here, so I put on some red tape on the birches to have reference point upon my return.