Another beautiful weekend spent camping with friends in Norway. Celebrating Joel’s birthday in the woods with friends (which included Jack…Daniels), a fire, some canoes and a nice mountain lake seemed only fitting. We joined three other families at a nice, remote campsite in Dividalen, a National Park about 2 hours southeast of Tromsø. In total we had 8 adults and 8 kids, of which Odin was the oldest. Eight kids age 6 and under is pretty amazing…including a one month old and a three month old. Don’t hesitate to get your kids out in nature! That is the Norwegian way. I like it.
As I mentioned in the last post, the fall colors are in full swing and it is absolutely beautiful in Northern Norway right now. Every season here has brought new beauty to the mountains and sea. I have truly enjoyed watching this happen and am so happy that we have taken advantage of the nature around us with countless camping trips. Joel and I are a good match in motivating each other. Sometimes it seems like such a process to pack food, organize camping gear, load the kids, make the drive, set up camp, hope it does not rain, get the kids to sleep in the tent, poop in the woods, help the kids poop in the woods, and so on. The weekends where I am feeling lazy, Joel steps up to the plate and gets the process going. I am the motivator when he is not really in the mood. We are all happier when we go. Of course the weekends at home are nice, but the weekends exploring and camping are amazing. Dividalen was no exception. A beautiful mountain landscape set inland from the fjords, we were surrounded by rivers and streams, leaves changing colors, great company with our friends, and berries everywhere. We have been picking berries since leaving Sweden in July. They really are everywhere and so yummy. So far our harvest has resulted in the following delicious stockpiles loading our freezer and cupboards: Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Red Currant Jam, Lingonberry Jam, Blueberry bread, Blueberry Crumb cake, Blueberry oat bars, Rhubarb oat bars (Rhubarb from the field next to our house… a nice bonus), Rhubarb Juice, and some yummy raspberries that ended up in our tummies before they made it into any treats. We have been mostly picking blueberries as these are a family favorite on our cereal, in our yogurt, and in our baked goods. We have also had a lot of fun experimenting with Red Currants and Lingonberries, which are a Scandinavian favorite to eat with meat. Joel made a batch of Lingonberry Jam with added cinnamon and apples…it tastes like Christmas and is soooooo good on our morning panekaker (Norwegain pancakes that are more like crepes). I will definitely have to find some berry picking in Montana when we return…huckleberries are already calling my name!