Friday, September 09, 2011


Please to enjoy the photos and stories below. I'm meeting my friends Kris and Whitney in Stockholm tomorrow. I'm happy about that!


One of the first sunny (and windy!) days in Sweden. Prior to this I'd seen mostly farms under grey or rainy skies, so photos hardly seemed worth it. The light was incredible on this day.
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As this passenger ferry was making his way towards this narrow inlet to the harbor, it was really rocking to and fro.
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Why is it that only exotic or rare birds get all the attention? What's up with that? Are there things non-exotic and non-rare in your life that could use some attention?
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The coast is typically rocky and with many inlets. I read that a pretty high percentage of Swedes either have their own vacation home or access to one from relatives, so it's hard to know who "lives" in these houses and who's just visiting.
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More brilliant light and colors.
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I took a little bike ride around this town, whose name has escaped me.
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This canal crosses a river, and was completed in something 1886. It was the final link in a long canal and river system to allow the shipment of goods more easily in otherwise rough country.
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It's just like being home! You know how there used to be a bunch of old American cars in the U.S., but there aren't so many now? It's cuz they're all in Sweden. I'm not sure why, but cars from the 1960's and even 1950's seem really popular here. I don't know what the heck that beast is in the front, but the writing on the cab says "Vikings Only." I camped just off the road here, and I'd hear my roaring past every once in a while.
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I wonder where this is? It looks nice. (I'd make a great travel book writer, no?)
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The speed limit in kilometers per hour. KM/hour x .62 = MPH. So 70 KPH is about 45-ish MPH.
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An interesting grave marker.
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Beautiful clouds threaten rain at a moment's notice.
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This cemetery looks to be the dead center of town. And people are dying to get in there. Thank You! I'll be here all week!
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This red color is pretty standard in most villages. I found out today it has a long history. It originally came from the 1,000 year-old copper mine in Falun that only closed in 1992. The rust from the rock was the pigment.
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This fascinating contraption is at the Fröå Gruva copper mine. A huge waterwheel slowly rotates and pushes the poles for the 200 meters to run a rock crusher at the top of the mine. In slow motion, each of these crossbars rock back and forth. The technology is a few hundred years old, and this one was rebuilt relatively recently.  (Google satellite map of the mine is here:
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This photo shows how the wooden poles were connected for the 200 meters to transfer the power from the water wheel to the crusher in another building.
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The water for the water wheel was forced through these wooden pipes, with the metal bands to make them water-tight enough to raise the water to the top of the wheel.
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This plant tells me that fall is coming. The bright green and bright red are on the same plant.
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I camped here for the night.
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A lot of the landscape reminded me of Alaska, where I also drove a VW camper van.
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Slow motion waterfall.
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I wish I could remember the joke I just told myself. It looks like it was pretty funny. I have soot on my forehead from making a fire.
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This is probably the nicest place I camped. I never paid for campground. It's also close to the furthest north that I went:
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I came to Ostersund to check out the monster that reportedly lives in these waters. The only monster I saw was the old woman who flashed her lights and glared at me because I rode my bike about 20 feet the wrong way down a one way street, at about two miles an hour. I guess that's what I did - it wasn't clear, but I'm pretty sure no one's life was threatened.
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Sweden is absolutely covered with lakes, rivers, fjords, bays, bogs, and every imaginable kind of waterway. It makes for beautiful drives.
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And I ran into Jeff Bridges! How funny is that?! I asked him Goldie Hawn was and he stormed off. Sensitive!
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I took this from one of my campsites.
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Lovely red houses along a waterway.
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It's not obvious in this photo, but almost all the water here has the brown-ish color that comes, I think, from the peat in the soil.
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This area is called the High Coast. At the height of the last Ice Age, about 20,000 years ago, this part of Sweden was buried under an astounding three kilometers, or two miles of ice. Since the ice totally melted about 9,000 years ago the land rose 285 meters, or 900 feet, the most anywhere in the world. Of course, this is just a theory, like evolution or gravity, so you may want to check with Rick Perry to confirm its validity.
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I hiked to this narrow canyon in a national park.
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This is the view from above the canyon.
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The walls here are about 30 meters or 100 feet high, I'm guessing.
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The landscape on this hike was beautiful, but it was hard going, more so because it had rained a lot the night before. Slippery!
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(The End)