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My Biggest Adventure to Date

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

So it has been a good bit since I sat down to put my thoughts out there for anyone to read but this morning just felt right. I have been off from work since the end of June and now that it is nearly the middle of August I am mentally and physically preparing to go back. I have been free from the clock for nearly seven weeks and I am not going to lie I have enjoyed every minute of that freedom. We just saw ZZ Top, only a few days after the untimely passing of Dusty, and have three more mini-adventures planned before the end of the year (remember my girlfriend reads this blog so my writing is often more reflective in nature to keep surprises, well surprises), but there will not be another break until late January.


Knowing that I must return my brain just decided that going back to 0430 wake ups this morning was the thing to do and before 0500 I had coffee going and the Mac fired up. I have gotten up early for so bloody long that even while off and allowing for my natural proclivity to be a night owl I am often up around sunrise. Mornings are the most peaceful time for me as there is no one aware that I am up and therefore there are no demands on my time. Reflection and anticipation are interesting bedfellows and having time for the brain to do both has been helpful.


In a mere 169 days I will hop on a plane and 34 days later will return home. For just over a month I will be roaming around Scandinavia! That is a quite a long time to spend overseas and I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly nervous about it. For some reason the anticipation of this trip is a little higher than all of the others. Perhaps it is the realization of the length of time I will be away, the unknown cost of an adventure of this length, or more likely a myriad of reasons, but it is palpable.


For many years dad and I talked about seeing the Northern Lights together. A few years ago we ran up to Jasper, Canada but missed them by just two days. When we missed the Lights on that trip I started looking for the spot, if you will, to make it as much of a sure-thing as I could and finally decided on Abisko, Sweden. For a couple of years now we have been planning what is to be the greatest trip we have ever taken just to sit in wonder at their majesty. The trip was actually booked for last winter, but politics derailed it so we are booked for round two this winter.


To say that my dad is excited about this trip does not quit convey the giddiness I believe he feels. For as long as we have been planning this trip I will randomly get text or messages with various pics or stories about the Lights or Norway. We will spend a few minutes talking about them and I believe it helps keep the anticipation alive and growing.


I arrive in Stockholm, Sweden 24 hours before dad which allows me to roam freely for abit. He arrives the on the 27th and on the 29th we leave on an overnight train from Stockholm to Abisko, 156 miles north of the Arctic Circle. For five nights we will be in Abisko National Park which is the number one spot on the entire planet to see the Northern Lights. They call Abisko the Blue Hole of the Arctic for its cloud free conditions and superb Northern Lights viewing. She sits in the Auroral Belt and on any give three days you have an 84% chance of seeing the Lights. To say I am excited is an understatement. I have dreamed of being able to see the Northern Lights since I was just a child and while there are several things that could derail this trip I am closer than ever.


From Abisko we head over to Lofoten, Norway to spend a few days on the coast. Lofoten is in northern Norway and on the Atlantic. I simply cannot wait for this leg of the journey. After that we have a few free days to roam where we please before arriving back in Stockholm to meet up with Terri. She is scheduled to land on the 10th of February. The 11th is my birthday and I get to spend it roaming around Stockholm with my dad and my girlfriend. I celebrated my 50th in Amsterdam, oh man what a city, and my 53rd is lining up to be something special too.


The morning of the 12th dad flies home and Terri and I are off. The only thing solid right now is a few days in Tallinn, Estonia. Other than that we shall see where the wind blows. Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Iceland are on the must see list. For an unknown reason I am seriously drawn to visit Belarus, but I am not sure if I will yet. Something about having to check in with the police every five days makes me a bit nervous.


I've been back at work for a few days now and am wrapping up the end of a 120 hour shift. It is August 20th and I will admit I am a little nervous about the possibility of this trip actually happening. The world seems to be derailing into madness at the hands of the worthless and the evil. My disdain for politics and media is nothing new but it is reaching preposterous levels in this climate. We may have to postpone this trip again. Ugh.


Well, it's late September and appears that my fears have been realized in the current age of pseudo science and fear control. In other words I have had to cancel Scandinavia again! It has not been rescheduled for late February '23. Stay tuned, I will get there eventually.


Well, we have had to completely alter the plans to go to Scandinavia for now. Around the spring equinox of 2023 we are now heading to Fairbanks, Alaska instead of Abisko. Easier to get to in the idiotic times in which we live. We have tentatively rescheduled Abisko, Sweden for the fourth time and hope to get there in 2024😶.


Fairbanks will sill prove to be an amazing place and it will be my 49th US State. I was really, really hoping Alaska would be my 50th and I would get to spend a month or two there, but as Randy says "that's the way the pickle squirts".



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