A Walk on the Way of St. Olav: Oslo to Trondheim, Summer 2009
Welcome to the log of my Olavsleden Pilgrim trek. I walked the 669 kilometer "Way of St. Olaf" across Norway between July 1st and 28th of the 2009 summer. Re-established with continuous waymarks in 1997, the Way commemorates a route walked in Medieval times by the faithful seeking the aid and comfort of Scandinavian patron Saint Olav Haraldsson, Norway's King Olav II. I embarked on the Pilgrim trek, my second in Europe after the Camino de Santiago which I completed in 2007, having just been left unemployed by the disassembling of the "Conserve School", a private boarding school where I had taught history for the six prior years. You’ll see that I began the odyssey somewhat preoccupied by a conviction that my next adventure would be a “thru-hike” of the "Pacific Crest Trail" along the western American Rocky Mountain cordillera crossing California, Oregon, and Washington states. It took me days to begin writing, difficult days during which I was adapting to very warm temperatures, the overnight shelter conditions, and foreign land. With a few exceptions (identified by calendar date asterisk **), the log is the text of postcards that I wrote to family, friends, former students (and their parents) during my walk. I have hundreds of digital images that complement this record and more than a thousand similar postcards from previous travel adventures. Why Sly? "Buffalo Jump Sly", Sly for short, was my trail name when in 2002 I successfully "thru hiked" the 3,450 kilometer grandfather of all American trails, the "Appalachian Trail. Enjoy the Sly tale.
Inspired by Selma Lagerlöf’s Gösta Behrling Saga, Mark has been drawn to discovering “the way people become by living out in the world.” Over two decades, Mark has put 80,000 bicycle traveling miles behind him on four continents and off shore has pedaled Iceland, the Faroe, and Shetland Islands. Mark began walking in 2002 “thru hiking” the 3,450 kilometer Appalachian Trail across 14 eastern seaboard American states from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. By today, Mark’s long trail adventures include the California John Muir Trail, the Vermont Long Trail, and the Arkansan Ozark Highlands Trail. Mark walked 900 kilometers on the Camino Francès pilgrim route across Northern Spain into Santiago de Compostela in 2007 and in this “Holy Year” 2010 Mark has completed the Via de la Plata from Seville to Santiago. Mark is a former lawyer and a teacher. In winter, Mark skis with enthusiasm. Mark worked as a volunteer at the Soldier Hollow Nordic skiing venue of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. He has written articles for Cross Country Skier and Master Skier magazines. Friend Mark on Facebook or contact him by email through this BlogSpot.