I try to tell my daughters to be aware of strangers on the internet. They kindly reminded me of that when I was heading out the door with my fatbike, the bare necessities of gear topped with that DSLR I never can make myself to leave behind.
And they were absolutely right: I had never met Mr. Joe before. The writing and the photos on his blog as well as the occasional communication on Twitter indicated that he was a nice guy, though.
I was wrong.
He turned out to be an extremely nice guy.
We fought it out with the holiday traffic on the tarmac for a while after we met at Haugastøl, climbed above the tree line, then turned our wheels south onto gravel and dirt. And old dream was about to be fulfilled: Crossing Europe’s largest mountain plateau by bike. Being a national park with Europe’s largest population of wild reindeers, we were only allowed to cycle on the tractor roads on the plateau. Two of them crossed from north to east almost completely. That is, if it wasn’t for those five–six kilometers in the center devoid of any path or track near the shores of one of Hardangerviddas larger lakes. No tractor roads meant no biking. That’s where the packrafts we were carrying on our bikes came into play.
The second day we inflated our packrafts, took to the water and linked the two northern and eastern tractor roads, this way possibly becoming the first to legally bike across Hardangervidda a couple of days later.
It all turned out to be a stunning trip made even better by sharing it with Mr. Joe. That’s what you get from being utterly irresponsible on the internet.
Stay tuned for ramblings on gear. And do drop by Mr. Joe and his great site Thunder in the night for another take on the trip.