No such thing as bad weather in Norway
My family and I just returned to the US after a two-week hiking trip in Norway, a country so full of staggering natural beauty and forward-thinking citizens that we did not want to leave. Out trip started in Bergen, a city rich in history and nestled among 7 mountains on the west coast. When we arrived, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 70’s. We drove five hours inland to Jotunheimen National Park, known as "The Home of the Giants", where it rained 11 of the next 12 days.
Our first outing was especially memorable: a 6-hour hike at Bessegen that snakes up and along a ridge between two lakes: Gjende, which appears green from glacial runoff, and Bessvatnet, which looks blue and is 400 meters lower than Gjende. We boarded a ferry that took us across Lake Gjende to Memurubu, where we started our hike in overcast but dry conditions. After a few hours of climbing, we reached the ridge between the lakes, soaked in the views, and ate the sandwiches and Toblerones that we had brought for lunch. As we turned to approach the summit, the steepest and narrowest section of the trail, dark clouds moved in. We lashed our rain covers over our backpacks. Our game faces were on. The wind whipped across the ridge, raindrops pelting us from the north. With temps in the mid-40’s, we were happy to have the right gear. Around us were many Norwegians, all enjoying the challenge of this iconic hike and the joy of being out on the trail regardless of the weather. Sensing my fear of being blown off the side of the cliff, a young woman near us said, “it is difficult, but we will make it!” Just what I needed to hear. When we reached the summit it was socked in with clouds and we felt lucky that we had seen the iconic view from our lunch perch. The rain stayed with us until we returned to the hut at the base - tired but exhilarated - for a waffle and coffee. Not once did I notice the Paradis Sport natural fiber bikini that I wore on the trail - they are the underwear I've always dreamed of.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” is a Scandanavian expression that we had heard before this trip. After two weeks of hiking in the rain, we now have a new appreciation for the power of this mindset. No matter the weather, people get outside. There is too much to see and experience to let a little rain hold you back. Grab the right gear and go!