Section 1: Grövelsjön to Åre

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Excited to start our journey: Paul, Michael, me, and Jonas

Start at Grövlesjön

The journey started on July 7th, 2018, by touching the door of the mountain station in Grövelsjön. We started together with two other “green ribboners”: Paul and Michael, both from Germany. We had met them the day before and exchanged experiences over dinner. Paul had hiked the King’s Trail (which was part of our Gröna Bandet route) last year and has an impressive knowledge about arctic plants. Before I met him, I was proud that I could tell the difference between blueberries and other berries. Now, I know that all these other berries actually have names (most of which I have forgotten) and very distinctive properties. Michael had hiked half of Gröna Bandet already last year, starting from the other direction (Treriksröset). So Michael already knew what it was like “out there” and he knew himself. Jonas and I knew – well that it would be an adventure for us.

It was nice to walk the first couple of kilometers together with Paul and Michael and to share our excitement. It was a sunny but cold day and after a while, we got pretty cold walking in our running clothes. That, together with the excitement (read: nervousness) abut starting our longest run ever, created an immensely strong urge to run. We were sad to leave our new friends behind but when reaching a flat after the first hill we felt like we just HAD to run.

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The first flat section just called for running!

The path towards Storrödtjärnstugan became more and more stony and finally too difficult for us to run. We set up our tent in the evening and got somewhat worried when we realized that we were pretty exhausted after only 24 km. How would the next day go? Feeling the way I did that evening, I would have usually decided to take a rest for at least two days.

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Tent spot on our first night on the trail

The first night didn’t really go as hoped, either. It was a very cold night and despite wearing all the clothes I had, I was freezing so much that I just couldn’t fall asleep. Needless to say, on the morning of the second day I was cold, sore, tired, and grumpy.