Saturday, December 12, 2009
Games of Chance on the Olav's Leden
July 16, 2009
By any analysis I’ve passed the midpoint of my summer pilgrim trek in Norway. I’m walking “coast-to-coast” by some reckonings—south (Oslo) to west (Trondheim). The sun, above the horizon almost 20 hours daily, would be always at my back if I could see it as I am walking due North. It has rained in the landscape around me for 15 straight days. It’s showers, usually light ones, though every now and then I get a skin soaker. I keep warm by working hard and I keep my essentials safely dry in my backpack. Blisters that dogged me in early days have hardened up and I’ve been walking stronger, longer days of late. The countryside is almost continuously spectacular. Wayfinding, the deciphering of a variety of symbols cleverly left to suggest the pilgrim route, is a tricky game … of chance. I’m briefly lost for stretches almost every day. I head into the “Oppland” or high mountain country in coming days. It’s a daunting prospect. Towns with shops and markets disappear. I have the momentum to go the distance. St. Olav, pray for me.