Chapter 6 - History, Culture, and Backcountry Skiing in Norway and Sweden - February 17-March 1, 2019
This is the sixth of a six part series on Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Senior Advisor Jack Drury's trip to Norway and Sweden this past winter.
Chapter 6 - The trip home
As we woke up and ate our last abundant breakfast at Storulvån the realization that we were on the last leg of our trip set in. We had been trying to contact the taxi service in Storlien without much luck so we went to plan B and called our friend Sasha who had driven us from Storlien earlier in the week. Wouldn’t you know it but as we are getting ready to load up our bags into Sasha’s VW the taxi driver arrived. Bennett did a great tap dance in letting the taxi driver know that he needs to communicate a lot better with his potential clients but that we were taking the ride with Sasha. The unhappy taxi driver departed and Sasha drove us to the Enafors rail station where there was a ping pong table so Bennet and I could have a little competition before the train arrived.
An uneventful train ride through the ski country of Åre delivered us to the small city of Östersund where Beret was waiting for us. We had two main things we were hoping to do in Östersund. One was to visit the Jamtli Museum which features the cultural history of the region. The other was to visit the Woolpower outlet store. We had seen Woolpower products for sale in many places in Norway and Sweden and met some college students that encouraged us to visit their outlet store where you find some great deals on wool outdoor clothing. Beret dropped us off at the museum and we had a wonderful afternoon learning about the history of Jämtland. She picked us up a few hours later and drove us over to the Woolpower store which was a real treat. Woolpower started making outdoor clothing in the late sixties and has its only manufacturing facility in Östersund. It’s a neat company and we were able to find some deals allowing me to bring home some nice gifts.
A pleasant, if chilly, walk for one last dinner out with Beret and we went to bed early in anticipation of Edie’s and my flight home. We were up early and off to the airport where there were signs everywhere celebrating the World Cup Biathlon competition Östersund was hosting starting later in the week. I couldn’t resist purchasing a World Cup Biathlon ski cap for my friend’s daughter at home who is a biathlete.
Our easyJet flight took us to London Gatwick where we had to get our luggage, process through customs and recheck our luggage to Boston. Everything went incredibly smoothly and before we knew it we were watching inflight movies as we flew across the Atlantic.
We were to have two more little adventures before we got home. Since our flight didn’t arrive in Boston until 9:00 PM local time we made plans to stay the night with my in-laws Susan Ellsworth and Rich Feeley. It turned out that Rich was returning from a meeting in Berne, Switzerland within an hour of our arrival. We had dinner with Susan while waiting for Rich and then headed to their house in Concord and celebrated with some wine, and Swedish cheese and reindeer sausage before heading to bed. We were up early to catch our puddle jumpers to Saranac Lake and Bangor respectively. Cape Air is a fun airline and because it goes to such small communities you frequently see someone you know on the plane. I didn’t but Edie saw a friend and knew the pilot. As I boarded the eight passenger plane I asked the pilots what kind of visibility we would have and one responded, “The best of the year.” He wasn’t wrong as we had a bluebird day flying over the Adirondack’s High Peaks and over my house on Lower Saranac Lake. It was a treat to be greeted by my wife Phyliss and to know that the weather had been so cold that I hadn’t missed a bit of the maple season.
Given my work with Adirondack Hamlets to Huts I tried to make note of lessons learned or things observed that might be useful as we develop hut-to-hut routes in the Adirondack Park. Here are a few.
Nice article on the triangle: https://adventuresweden.com/hiking-sweden-jamtland-triangle/
Info on Swedish lodging https://www.smartertravel.com/stay-sweden-lodging-tips/