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Two days after I returned from a work trip to Kuwait, my family was invited to join two other families on a 15km hike to the peak of Forelhogna mountain.
Our children have never hiked that far so my husband was hesitant but my life philosophy is that memories are made when we step out of our comfort zones, not by staying home all cozy, dry and warm.
We drove in convoy with our new friends from the school, about 2 hours from home, South of Trondheim on the road towards Oslo.
We were amazed and delighted to see a family of 4 moose within 10m of the road as we neared our destination. The mother and two calves ran into the forest but the male with big antlers stayed where he was, resting on the grass.
With a total of 7 children, 1 dog, 6 adults and a lot of outdoor clothing we set off to climb the first hill. Our 6 year old son led the way with his natural exuberance bubbling out and spurring him to walk faster and higher. It was cold, the track was wet and muddy and we were walking through cloud but that didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for being outdoors in a national park.
We stopped a few times to have snacks and re-energize the children. We were walking through a national park that is renowned for a large wild reindeer population. We looked carefully but perhaps the noise of our team made it impossible to see one! We saw a lot of the beautiful lichen that they feed on but no reindeer unfortunately.
The higher that we climbed the colder it became as we walked through the clouds. We soon started to see ice on pools of water. The parents kept a close monitor on the children to make sure that everyone was warm and dry enough despite most of the children falling into mud up to their thighs. I was very glad that I had packed waterproof over trousers to deploy as an extra layer of protection.
At roughly the halfway mark to the summit we stopped for lunch. As a family eating a semi primal diet, rice cakes make packed lunches so much easier than otherwise and are very lightweight to carry!
As we passed above the treeline the ground cover was very beautiful.
As we pushed up the final slope to the summit we passed bigger patches of ice.
As we neared the summit we were amazed to pass above the clouds and reach blue skies and sunshine. The difference was stark and instantly invigorating.
The view was quite amazing from the summit of 1332m as we looked towards Røros and Trollheim and Sweden.
Small groups of people kept popping up onto the summit, some couples, groups of friends, another dog and 3 middle aged men on mountain bikes. All fit and happy to see the sun. I chatted with one of the cyclists and we swapped stories of traversing the pilgrim route. He rode in one day what it took my three days to walk! I also chatted with a firefighter from Røros who predicted that they would get their first snow fall the coming week and he was right because snow did fall there last week.
On the car ride back home we had a gratitude circle, whereby we take turns expressing our gratitude for aspects of our lives. We unanimously agreed that we are grateful about moving to Norway, making new friends that invite us to go hiking and having access to such lovely wilderness.