Thursday, August 16, 2007

more adventures in the land of brown cheese

thanks again for tuning in to another exciting episode, featuring all the usual antics. unbelievably, the summer has already progressed into the month of august. the temperatures have been warm and if you are not scared of the rain, it's a wonderful country for playing outside. with only five days away from rafting work in the month of july, recent days of playing have been very welcome.
amos, ronny, and i have been running the day to day operations at jolster rafting, and during a tripless day the first week of august we headed one river drainage east to find the storelva. the storelva river, born from many branches of the jolstadalbreen glacier and the stardalen river, drops from one lake to another forming a section of rapids called the breim.

ronny putting in at the upper lake of the breim

photo by mw

kayakers rely on "beta", a boating term roughly synonymous with information, as a first step towards tackling a section of river. imagine a section steep river as a labyrinth, and just as in a maze, kayakers solve their way down a river, putting together a puzzle of geologic proportion. beta gives you an extra leg up in completing the labyrinth, coming in many forms and many places and often as oral tradition, passed from one ear to another easily becoming hearsay and rumor. primary source material, real ground level information, the good stuff 'locals beta', is always of highly sought after and increasingly important given the river's difficulty.
ronny has a guide book to norwegian whitewater runs and using this source and some vague local hearsay, we guesstimated that the volume of the storelva was somewhat elevated during our late afternoon arrival to the top lake, the 'get-in'.
river volumes, cubic measurements, take in account the flow of the river by incorporating a factor of time. as an american, i measure rivers in cubic feet per second, cfs; here, as well as everywhere else in the world where the metric system prevails, river volumes come in cubic meters per second, or 'cumecs'.
as you might imagine only a small amount of rise in the vertical level of a river translates into a great deal of extra water passing by every second.
"what the hell is a 'cumec'?" was the joke at the start of our day on the storelva as it has been on many occasions so far this summer, but soon the joke would be on us: amos swims at the first rapid, ronny soon follows and is forced to bail, hiking to the road with a rebroken boat.

amos, with the river's source in the back ground, amongst our scenic, "class IV epic" day on the storelva

photo by mw

just the next week, amos and i would find ourselves on the south side of the sogn og fjord again meeting up with eden and jono, fresh and ready to get in some more trouble under norwegian skies of clouds and rain.
adhering to a fatherly moto: "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" i found myself in familiar circumstances: with friends, among waterfalls.

photo by mw

the rain did prevent the camera from coming out to document our experiences as much as i would have liked, but i did manage to capture some images from the myrkdalselva.

jono, on sabbatical from a career as an electrical engineer, finding vision for the future among some white-out on the lower myrk...

photo by mw

amos at the same drop, the first below the put-in, excited for what's up next

photo by mw

eden and jono have earned a handle from me as "the barefoot gypsies" for being twenty-something retirees, cruising around in a foreign land half a world away from home almost entirely in their bare feet, and being the principle reason that new obscenities are continually being added to the vocabulary of our cellphone's predictive text.
they are looking for gainful employment in norway; jobs to have as long as it suits them or until it gets cold enough to necessitate socks and shoes.
here's jono surrounded by typical norwegian west coast scenery; pants, sunglasses, rain jacket, barefeet:

photo by mw

eden, currently retired from work as a geologist, finding answers to life's persistent questions on the lower myrkdalselva...

photo by mw

amos and jono, wingmen on another nice section of rapids

photo by mw

amos finishing the same:

photo by mw

jono, eden, and amos (l to r) along with the author following a long kayaking tradition of making oneself at home in riverside parkinglots:

laying gear out to dry and having lunch:

photos by mw

thanks again for staying up to date with the most recent happenings. keep it evil wherever you may happen to be. mefford.

photo by amos shuman


Philly said...

i'm so jealous of you it hurts.
it almost rained today, but mostly just clouded up and thundered. it's so dry here i've taken up crying into the forest in an attempt to keep the water table high (to no avail)
can't wait to see you when you get back
much love

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for photos of your beautiful mother, step father and girlfriend visiting Norway.