2 Shades of Blue // Besseggen

First off, some quick facts about Besseggen

Besseggen lies east in Jotunheimen, between the lakes Gjende and Bessvatnet. The walk over Besseggen is one of the most popular mountain hikes in Norway. About 30,000 people walk this trip each year.

Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Besseggen)

July is drawing to a close, and we are driving from Oslo in a borrowed van that returning readers might recognize, yes, it is my father’s 250-year-old white Caddy. But that won’t make an appearance this time. It is time for some norgesporno!

A perhaps, not so great example of “norgesporno”.

TL;DR, we made it! Even got proof:

Now back to the beginning. After Beitostølen, you drive across Bygdin (?) before reaching Gjendesheim; a “DNT turisthytte”. Here, a view from the road:

From Gjendesheim you have a magical view over the water (Gjende). We arrived late in the afternoon, but way before sunset. As most Norwegians know; our summer evenings are blessed with exceptionally long hours of sunlight!

Before dinner this day, the owner (or caretaker) was really pushing some expensive wine. Wtf. I still remember this 4 years later when writing this post 😅

Early the next morning we got on board the ferry taking us to Memurubu. The best route over Besseggen is to go “backward”, i.e. up the narrow ridge. The trail then ends up right where you started (Gjendesheim).

The first part of the trail more or less goes straight up. The first really nice view you get is this one:

After a couple of hours walking, we got some quite hefty cloud formations; this one, combined with the sun, drawing a straight line through the landscape:

Here you can see the ridge just left of the water and Knutshøe to the right (another great hike!). This is a wonderful place to eat a few of those brødskiver you put in your matpakke.

Knutshøe, (1517 m), worthy of being displayed both with and without colors.

Then! The ridge itself! Squeezed between Gjende (left) and Bessvatnet (right) you have to climb on all four – at least parts of the way. It is a truly great experience! (Which explains why this is my third time here…)

The view just keeps getting better as you get higher, as do the colors of the two lakes, deep blue – and greenish milky-matte. The last one gets its tint because of glacier runoff. On a more sunny day, the green tone is even clearer than on the picture below:

Over the top Veslfjellet – and across Bandet, the clouds were returning. In a brief moment I captured the effect a “hole in the sky” had on the mountains:

The road can also be quite photogenic!

Here is a photo from my phone from the decent – which is much longer than you think the first time you walk here. The very nice steps here have been put in place by Sherpas a few years back, to stop the erosion and slow “destruction” from the significant number of hikers each year.

Another photo, or screenshot at least – from my phone, is this one, that tells the story of what number of footsteps Besseggen may demand of you! Start early!

…and to round things off, here are some sheep in a landscape, taken during our trip back to Oslo.

Edit: Got some old photos (2001) from my mom & dad 😍

Impeccable style!

Bathing in the Great Wilderness

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0001

University was over, early summer upon us, and a road trip north seemed mighty intriguing. What better time to… freeze for an entire week in the beautiful Upper Peninsula?

To be fair, the trip was not my idea but came from my new homies Sverre and Martin whom I met at Michigan State University (MSU).

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0000
Mackinac Bridge as seen from UP

The first part of the trip went to Tahquamenon Falls, past Mackinaw City and over Mackinac Bridge that separates Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0002a

We set up camp and hiked upstream to find the legendary, yet unpronounceable falls:

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0002b
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0002c

From here, the road trip went onwards to Munising and Pictured Rocks situated next to Lake Superior. Simply stunning with its dark pastel tone palette, mirrored in the crisp cold freshwater.

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0003
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0004

We walked barefoot East along the waterside from Mosquito Beach, after crossing Mosquito River… cold… and slippery. The caves at the end were well worth it!

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0005
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0006

The rock here is quite special: it resembles the butter dough that goes into a croissant – tons of razor-thin layers – except the butter is petrified sand that crumbles easily if applying medium pressure. Here are three images at various distances:

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0007
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0008
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0009

After a couple of days of camping, and a moment of unknown influence where I decided to check out how cold the waters of Lake Superior really were (with my entire body) we got back on the road. Yes, images exist. No, they will never reach this blog.

Next stop: Marquette, the westernmost city we got to visit. Due to its location next to Lake Superior, the fog can set in very quickly. We heard stories of people disappearing… so we decided to stay on land – or molo (breakwater), while enjoying the thick mist. Here at Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater Light looking towards Lsi Dock:

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0010
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0011

We found back to land – now floating in the mist as a conjured mirage

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0012
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0013

Some days later, at Kitch-iti-kipi:

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0014

My memory is sadly failing me, even with the help of Google Maps. Safe to say we camped by a lake… (it might have been Big Knob State Forest Campground ?!)

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0015
Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0016

Upper Peninsula has a bad reputation for its nasty black flies. Luckily for us, the cold weather had delayed the “hatching season” to accommodate our travel plans. However, everything didn’t go as planned; on the last day they hatched. My freaking God if they hatched. We had to run away from an old farm after waking up a dark-looking cloud, taken straight out of LOST.

Anyway, let me leave you with a peaceful and quiet moment of Lake Michigan.

Upper Peninsula, 2016 #0017