It’s the last day of my vacation, then it’s the weekend and back to work on Monday. I decided to do one last hike, then do some cabin maintenance on Saturday and head home early on Sunday.

It was not intentional but it seems like I finish the outdoors part of my vacation in the same place where I started it – at Rockvallen. I wanted to get to the peak of Stor-Skarven, it is 1260 m but it’s one these flat-topped mountains so from whichever direction you look at it, it is always seen as a big round mountain. It has a steep wall towards east, but the rest of it is very gentle and thus hiker-frienly. Except in the beginning, there was a zone of willow bush that was driving me crazy because your feet get tangled up in it. But once I was over this zone, it was one of the most pleasant hikes up the mountain. Either I’m in better condition than I was for two weeks ago or then it was my light backpack, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten up a mountain this easy!

Reindeer on top of Stor-Skarven
Reindeer on top of Stor-Skarven

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn’t too bothered about getting any pictures today so I only carried the little Powershot with me. I wasn’t missing the SLR at all, the light was boring with this high cloud covering the whole sky and veiling the sun. I got one nice opportunity though when I came a across a reindeer and calf and they kindly ran past me with the valley in the background.

On the way down I was able to get a better overview of the willow zone so I found a way through the maze without getting tangled up again. It was a very nice hike to finish the vacation with, a kind of boring hike because nothing much happened but I guess I’ll rather have one these than do something stupid… even if it’s the stupid things I’ll remember best afterwards!

The mountain birch are always interesting, I think these two trunks look like some wonky feet
The mountain birch are always interesting, I think these two trunks look like some wonky feet

In the evening when I was processing the pictures, I saw a strange light in the window. It had been raining all evening but it turned out that there was a gap in the clouds where the sun was setting, so I had a huge rainbow in one direction and bright orange clouds in the other. The problem is that I’m not familiar enough with my surroundings to know which way to find the best foreground and I was out a little bit too late anyway, the sun was dipping below the horizon and the rainbow disappeared with it. The glow in the clouds stuck around a bit longer but even so I missed the best of it, because I ran in the wrong direction at first and wasted precious time. When I found a better spot (not perfect, but better), it was too late already and all I had was the last rays. Last night it was the kind of sunset where you wanted to keep the light at your back and shoot the scenery lit by the sun. Tonight it was the kind of sunset where you wanted to shoot right into the light!

Glow in the clouds - even now the light was fading so I missed the best of it
Glow in the clouds – even now the light was fading so I missed the best of it

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I think I’ll spend Saturday on my new couch and maybe watch some of the Frasier episodes I brought on DVD. I’ve only had time to watch one episode so far… I sure don’t need a TV here! The days have been filled with hiking and photography and I’ve barely had time to go through my pictures and write the blog posts. On the other hand, I’ve also been lucky with the weather. It has been a few rainy days, but only one day when it has rained from morning to evening. I’ve also had a few days with warm sunshine to get that summer feeling, but otherwise it’s been perfect for hiking. Perhaps a little less ideal for photography but those few moments when the light worked to my advantage far outweigh the times when it didn’t. There’s only one day when I didn’t get any pictures and that’s the day I drove to Östersund for shopping. Maybe some days I didn’t get any nice keepers, but I also have a ”documentation mode” – just grab some shots of the places I’ve been to so I can remind myself of them later on. And this is what I’ve been doing with the blog as well, write the stories and use the pictures as illustration. I know the stories have been a bit on the long side, but thank you anyone who has taken the time to read through!

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