Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We Conquered The Rock

Sunday morning we set out for Stavanger on the west coast which is just under an hour by plane. Our destination: Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock).... Frommers says it's one of the most memorable hikes in this part of the world, through scenic fjord country with mountain landscapes as backdrops. The ultimate goal is the Pulpit rock with a vertical drop of 1,998 ft. over the stunningly blue Lysefjord.
Back to my story.... Once we reached the airport, got the rental car and T and D all checked into their hotel for the night, we reached the ferry. After a twenty minute ferry ride and a 30 minute drive, we reached the Preikestolen Lodge. Kent, KJ and I spent the night here. It was 4 pm when the receptionist at the lodge told us about the hail and snow on the rock and it would take us at least 4 hours to do the hike. We had a dinner reservation at 7:30. She agreed to have sausages and potato salad for us when we returned. Hmm, I thought to myself... what are we getting ourselves into? We came all the way to do the hike, so we all layered up and off we went.
As we started out most of the hikers were on the way down. There was such a variety of people; young, old, fit looking folks and not so fit looking ones. I was surprised at the footwear. How can you hike in canvas Converse?
I was also surprised at the weather; I wasn't cold? Throughout the hike the weather changed frequently. It did hail, snow and rain. None of the precipitation came down hard, so we didn't get very wet and none of us were cold. (Yes, I worry about warmth.)
I was concerned about how KJ would do. Her hiking has improved so much especially after last Sunday's hike but she had a big day yesterday (May 17, marching in the parade for 3 hours.) Her attitude about hiking is very positive. Kent and I are psyched about this since we want to do as much in the Nordmarka before we head home and to continue hiking in Oregon. We haven't done much and are loving it.
It was steep and rocky at the start. There were 3 hilly sections and the majority of the time we had a variety of rocks to climb. We saw waterfalls, flowers, and rainbows along the way. It was hard to keep from taking pictures.
Usually it is very windy but we lucked out. I guess hiking later in the day might have been an advantage. Kayleigh was doing sensational. We did take several short breaks along the way and had snacks. Teresa'a dark chocolate M&Ms came in handy. As we approached the rock it was very high. We could see mountains and the fjord... It was breathtaking. Once we set foot on the rock there were hardly any other people which was nice. We snapped more and more photos. It was absolutely stunning!
KJ repeatedly commented, "this is paper; it's a picture." Hmm, well it's the real thing sweetheart.
I thought being up so high was going to freak me out but I was wrong. I was fine; I guess it was too beautiful. Kent and Dan laid down on their tummies and looked over the edge. Kent even dangled his feet over the edge; what a daredevil.
On a side note: Teresa brought the travel section from The Oregonian. There is a weekly article about Oregonians traveling to distant places which includes a photo of your group holding the travel section. She thought our gang on the Pulpit Rock was a worthy destination. We have several good shots to send to our local paper. That will be fun.
I'm not going to go in detail about the descent although there was much to tell. KJ wounded her shin on a rock: but was fine. It's just as challenging going down as it is going up....
I was close to 9 pm and not dark (of course, it doesn't get dark until after 10 pm) when we got back to the lodge and had dinner. We were exhausted and very happy. We conquered the rock!

1 comment:

Andy Smith said...

Wow, those fjords are spectacular! Looks beautiful, and sounds like a fun hike. Hope everything is going well - good that you finally got your haircut.