I was supposed to have vacation the whole week, but I couldn’t come up with anything to do so I shortened it to two days.

I had done some research and found a waterfall south-west from Sonfjället, Lillråndafallet. From Rånddalen, there’s a forest road towards the canyon where the Lill-Rånden creek falls. The road wasn’t very good to start with, and soon it got worse – much worse. All the raining in the past days had left a big puddle across the whole road so I stopped the car to take a closer look. It wasn’t the water that worried me – it was the muddy bottom. I poked at it and it felt soft, so I didn’t dare to drive through it. If I couldn’t go forward, then the only was back. Except that there was no place to turn. The closest turnaround was 5-600 metres behind me. On that rough road that was bumpy enough driving forward when I could see the obstacles. Oh dear me… And then of course, since I couldn’t drive to the trailhead I had to walk instead, I figured I had stopped about 2 km short. But now I got a little bit lucky, after reversing only about a 100 metres I came to a wider section of the road, not possible to turn the car around but certainly possible to park it without blocking the road. Ironically, just after the mudhole the road got better, no big rocks to drive around like it was before it.

Small brook that falls into the Lillrånden creek

From the trailhead, the sign said it’s 2.5 km to the falls. The trail follows the east side of the canyon and the sound of the falling water could be heard somewhere beneath all the way to the actual falls. When I got down to my photo shoot, I heard a thunder rumble right after I had taken the first picture! Very lucky that there’s a shelter next to the falls, so I quickly made my way to it because it had also started raining – a lot. While I was sitting there and waiting for the rain to pass, I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so uneasy. Although I really liked the place, I wasn’t as eager to photograph it as I should’ve been. Something was nagging my mind… the car. I was worrying about having to reverse 500m on that rocky road, and I was worrying about the tyres for all the punishment they’ve been getting today, first the Fågelsjö road which is under construction… then the gravel road from Linsell to Rånddalen… and finally the rocky road towards the trailhead. Having something like that nagging my mind prevents me from being inspired to photograph. But it’s not all bad. Having to worry about flat tyres, mudholes and thunderstorms takes the mind off work, very quickly! Instant vacation mode.

Lillråndafallet – you can’t actually see the big waterfall at all, but you’re standing almost on top of it

When the sun came out, my mood improved. I just tried to be positive; I can drive in reverse, it’s never been a problem for me, so what if the road is bad, I’ll just take it slow! I took some more pictures but I kept feeling that I had not made the most of my visit. It’s like I just wanted to get done with the car and get out of there. It’s a real shame though, because the place definitely deserves more attention, the big fall itself is un-photographable as it falls in the ravine, but the falls upstream and the side-falls are fine. I think this is the part where it sucks to be alone. You get too trapped in your own thoughts and can’t find a way out so your worries take the better of you. So I don’t think that I’ll ever go back there, not alone. Consider this an invitation – if you want to see the Lillrändåfallet falls, just drop me a line. I know the way!

On the way back, I saw two guys standing a way down from the trail. They asked me if there’s a shelter, I said yes… just follow the trail. ”What trail?” Huh? How did they get here? ”The trail I’m standing on…” They happily made their way up to the trail and continued towards the falls. When I got to the trailhead, I found a car there. Those guys had driven a car – a normal car, with ground clearance no bigger than in my little Yaris! If they had made it through the mudhole, then for sure I can do that, too. That would certainly spare me all the reversing. When I passed the mudhole, I took a stick and poked at the mud all the way through. And for sure, it didn’t feel as bad as it had done at first, most of the bottom was hard and the softer mud only covered small areas, not big enough for a tyre to sink in. So I drove through, no problems!

When I was back at the tarmac road, it was such a relief! And it wasn’t just the joy of a proper road, but I also found out that the summer cafe at Nysätern was still open, so I could go there and have a cup of coffee and a waffle. All I had eaten since breakfast was a few peanut M&M’s… I was starving! I had a sandwich with me but I hadn’t felt like eating with what all the worrying I was doing instead. Stupid I know, but it’s a very hard habit to break. Anyway, the crispy waffle, whipped cream and cloudberry jam hardly fulfills the nutrional requirements of a meal, but I couldn’t care less. When I was back on the road, I was euphoric. No worries! I couldn’t stop smiling, it was such a great feeling that everything had turned out ok. Yes!

Tevån creek
Tevån creek

I checked in at the hostel and then drove to Ljusnedal to photograph the Tevåfallet waterfall. It’s not a big waterfall by any means, but it’s the way there that’s nice. Small falls all the time, so it was just stop shoot and go. And the best part – no hiking required to get there. If you take the ”back door”, it’s something like 50m to the bridge and you can start shooting right there. And then follow upstream as far as you feel like.

I took a lot of pictures today, but nothing that feels special. The special feeling I have from the today is my car surviving the ordeal unscathed… well, unless I have a slow puncture and a flat tyre in the morning…

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