Ever since We Moved to the Mountains, Cody and I have yet to spend a weekend alone at the cabin. The first visitors were my mom Lise and our dog Daisy, arriving only a few days after we first moved in. The four of us hiked from Tempelseter to Ranten (1419 m.a.s.l) and to the statue of Madonna med Barnet (1020 m.a.s.l), both of which were wonderful excursions. The following weekend, my mom and Daisy returned with my older brother Nick, this time with the main objective being to winterize the cabin. Despite having a long ‘To Do’ list, I was eager to conquer a new peak and we set out Saturday morning on what became The Hike to Nowhere.
The truth is, we were planning to climb Gråfjell (1466 m.a.s.l.), the tallest peak on the Norefjell mountain range. Gråfjell is known for its spectacular views over southern Norway, including Hardangervidda, Gaustatoppen, and Jotunheimen. My brother Nick and dog Daisy have been to the peak before, but it was a new destination for myself, my mom, and Cody. We decided to go a bit off the beaten trail and trudged through the mountainous terrain, following Nick as he led the way with a map and compass. Walking beneath blue skies and a crescent moon, we soaked up the autumn sun and beautiful surroundings.
We were all in good spirits, that is, until we checked the time. We estimated the excursion would take about six hours roundtrip but at three hours in, we had not yet made it to the base of Gråfjell. With over an hour to go until we would reach the peak, we had to reassess our priorities. We found a spot out of the wind to refuel and discussed our options over lunch. When all was said and done, we agreed it was best to head back to the cabin and use the remaining hours of daylight to start on our ‘To Do’ list. We took some photos at the base of Gråfjell to document what we called The Hike to Nowhere, hiding our disappointment with laughter. In the five minutes we used to take photos, the clouds moved in to cast a shadow on the peak, a sign from the mountains to begin our descent.
As we retraced our path down the mountain, I couldn’t shake the feeling of defeat. I had spent my whole day swimming in wet hiking boots and for what? Then we stumbled upon an edge with the most magnificent view and breathtaking landscape – nature’s reminder that there’s more to hiking than the views from the peak. As Cody and I admired the mountains below, I appreciated the adventure for what it was and we laughed the whole way down.
Why do you hike? Leave a comment down below!