NORWAY V

12/9/2021  

Standing in the Arctic Circle on rocky terrain, above the tree line of the boreal forest, is an accomplishment. Unless you were born above latitude 66° 30′, the roads to transverse you there are at a minimum. With long, dark winters and no industry, this terrain shoes most people southward. Lars did what most tourists do when they cross this invisible marker: he built a cairn, took some pictures, and split. Thinking about driving farther north to Hammerfest and on to the Russian border was quickly shot down as it would take 3 of his 10 allotted days to do so. Instead, he stopped at a small resort that specialized in taking arctic campers out in the tundra of Finland via helicopter. Working out a deal with an English-speaking Finnish woman, Lars managed a round-trip ride out over the land where the roadless Norway, Sweden, and Finland meet. Dropping off a party of 2, tens of miles from civilization, Lars returned to his Viking Vessel after scanning the grounds below for reindeer. No luck, but the unplanned helicopter ride was well worth it. Lars, like some people, like to take different ways home so he crossed the Swedish border and came back through the country that looks like northern Minty-soda, his neighboring state. Returning back into Norway to get his planned hotel room in Trondheim, Lars was busy pulling over at parks, lakes, and mountain views. Heading back to Oslo, he knew that he would be on that highway to the south of Gumdrop Mountain that had so impressed him days earlier. Covered in blotchy fog, Gumdrop had a ghostly presence and will be recalled in Lars’ memories just before Mr. Larsen exits this planet. Finding backroads in steep, mountainous terrain, Lars turned a 6-hour ride into 14 hours, back to his room in Oslo. The views were incredible, and his route was a guess, but he made it. With a practice run to the airport at midnight to familiarize himself on where to drop the car and catch his plane, Lars fell asleep for the last time in Norway. 

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