Hardangervidda NP – Norway

Saebo Camping on Eidfjordvotnet is a perfect spot to watch the world go by!
Our Saebo Camping Cabin is the larger one in the center.
It is very close to Hardangervidda National Park.
The trail we took is well marked with red ‘T’. There were some cabins here – how fun that would be to hike to this spot for the night.
Getting us located on Locus Maps. This app has been so helpful in all our navigation. We loaded all of Norway for free.
Great views!
Great fall colors!
Detail of those wonderful colors and textures.
Amazing variety of lichens and moss.
Even a comfy rock for a picnic lunch!
And back to Saebo Camp to enjoy the fjord lake: Deep breath. Exhale. All is well.

Jotunheimen National Park – Norway

Along the Sognefjord are some amazing waterfalls – some even have names like Asofossen.
At an overlook we see the village of Fortun and the massive Asofossen in the hill beyond, which names the river that flows through the valley. This is the beginning of 10 hairpin turns and as per Rick Steves “Treat Each Turn As If It Were Your Last!”
Wait! Stop the car! Luckily there was a pullover we could walk back across the bridge and take this photo of an unnamed waterfall with 3 snow covered mountain peaks in the background.
There you go…three peaks in Jotunheimen National Park.
The roads are all one lane with some passing pullovers so a bit stressful driving. Quoting Rick Steve again ” Tell your passenger to scream only when we hit something”. Ha! We climbed the valley of Jotunheimen NP on the scenic Sognefellet National Tourist Route.
The Nedre Oscarshaug viewing platform allows you to move the glass panels to line up with the mountain you are looking at to identify it. Very fun. The temperature has now dropped to chilly 3 degrees at around 1200 meters elevation. (37 degrees at 4,000′ above fjord/sea level)
A bit different day than when we toured part of the park on the east side from Lom. Our blog entry from first of September.
We hung out at a parking area to eat our lunch and watch the clouds.
We turned around at this lake area as the clouds were moving in.
We were glad we could have such beautiful tundra under our feet.
Really happy to be on top of the world here in Jotunheimen National Park.

Jostedalsbreen National Park – Norway

On the road  we head south along Innik Fjord (Nordfjord) on a rainy sort of day. But we could still appreciate the grandeur.
At the top of the map – we left Stryn heading south to Fjaerland (in bold on map), then down and up to Gjerde to explore the east side. The Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest glacier on the European mainland.
Fjaerland is at the end of another fjord (Sognefjorden) – and as we have now learned all these fjords are carved by glaciers. We have come here to see another branch- Boyabreen- which you can if you look closely through the high humidity.
If you have looked at any promotional brochures of Norway you will have seen this well placed sauna with a view in Fjaerland.
Meeting up with some ice explorers and scientists at the world class Norwegian Glacier Museum.
This is as close as we got today to the glacier – the Boyabreen Glacier branch.
Always relieved to find some conveniences especially in such scenic locations.
A lush green high humidity rainy sort of day was our best chance of exploring the east side of Jostedalsbreen NP.  There were more waterfalls and water on this route than we remember ever seeing anywhere – obviously abundant due to the rain quantity.
This unique visitor center – Breheimsenterret – seems to  extend right from the glacier itself (seen flowing down the valley at the right)
It reminded me of a Viking helmet from this direction. Museum is in lower level with a good movie with screen that goes up, curtains open for large window to view glacier – National Park worthy experience.
Really the best way to spend a rainy morning! A waffle with strawberry jam or a sweet local pastry with fresh brewed coffee. Universal…
Clouds seem to lift so we drive toll road to Nigardsbreen Glacier.
The glacier melt off has left this beautiful milky lake. The boat will cut 20 minutes off the 45 minute hike to touch the glacier but we thought hiking on wet rocks in the rain was not going to be worthwhile.
So we picniced in our car while watching the clouds play, tried to count all the waterfalls, and enjoyed the lush green from all the moisture.
The force of the waterfalls is breathtaking. We may not have experienced what we planned but we appreciated our explorations and the many moods of the landscape.

Geiranger Fjord – Norway

The first snow on the mountains for the season or so we learned from the locals from this top at Eidsvatnet Lake.
Eidsvatnet Lake was a pleasant stop before winding our way up that valley.
We stopped at the Ornevegen Viewpoint to get our first view of Geiranger fjord.
It is at the top of these switchbacks!
One of the most beautiful fjords, a UNESCO world heritage site!
There were 2 cruise ships and many tour buses in town so lots of people. A couple from New Zealand chatted with us and offered to take a photo.
This adorable cabin is where we are going to spend the next few nights – the very tranquil Hole Hytter.
Henry enjoying the view from our cabin at Hole Hytter
It is  an amazing view from the dining table as well.
Norway’s first National Tourist Trail is a dramatic walk/stairway from town to the Norwegian Fjord Centre following this waterfall.
Geiranger fjord is part of a UNESCO world heritage site to protect the Western Fjords of Norway. It is a very special area of the world with this interesting museum to learn more.
The fresh cinnamon buns were delicious!!!!
This model of the Seven Sisters Waterfall, which is 1,350′ tall, shows how deep the fjords are – about 800′ under water.
We took the 20km ferry round trip to Hellesyit to experience being on the water and seeing the entire fjord.
The Seven Sisters Falls were impressive.
As were the falls on the other side of the fjord.
We even saw some kayakers – they might have been warmer than us.
But we got a bit of sunshine and enjoyed seeing the entire Geiranger fjord!
The Queens Chair at the Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint was put in by Queen Sonja so we could all experience the majestic beauty of her country.

National Parks near Dombas, Norway

Our first stop heading northeast from Dombas is this interesting architectural – overlook of the Fokstumyra Nature Preserve.
A beautiful morning looking over Fokstumyra Nature Preserve towards the northwest.
Next stop was the Wild Reindeer Preserve Visitor Center, or Besokssenter villrein in Hjerkinn.
Nearby is where you start the hike to look for wild musk ox in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella NP.
A wide mile long uphill trail with historical timeline winds through alpine tundra in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella NP.
This is the Snohetta Viewpoint!
Inside Snohetta Viewpoint we could appreciate this destination. A ranger had a zoom scope hooked to a monitor screen and showed us the dots on the landscape that were musk ox far across the valley.
Wow – what a view to enjoy!  Snohetta was once considered the tallest peak and is pretty impressive even with the clouds at the summit. There was also some pelts, antlers, and other information inside the Snohetta Viewpoint.
A bit further south we drove to Sohlbergplassen Viewpoint on the eastern tourist route along Rondane NP.
This was designed to go around all the trees which also made it much more interesting. Sohlbergplassen Viewpoint
And what a view of Mt Rondvassbu across Lake Atnsjoen to Rondane NP.
We walked across the river feeding the lake at Strombu Viewpoint
and we fed ourselves at these fun curved concrete picnic tables.
We turned around at Atnbrua Historic Waterworks at the south end of the lake.
Natural waterfalls that powered Atnbrua Historic Waterworks – still a good source of electricity.
Our home for 3 nights right on the ski slope is the upper cabin at Hytter Dombas.
The view from our porch looking northwest up the valley.

Lom and into Jotunheimen National Park-Norway

We drove north and then west into Jotunheimen NP to the Vegaskjelet Viewpoint. This is Galdhopggen, the highest peak in northern Europe at 2469 meters (8,100 feet).
We enjoyed views up and down the Boverdalen valley and made a stop at the Eleveseter Hotel.
Fun historic architecture (and interior finishings) with slate roofs at the Eleveseter Hotel.
Inside the octagonal building is a dining room with a painted ceiling at Eleveseter Hotel
Of course we are in Troll country!
There is also the Sagasoyla Column with the history of Norway carved in layers which is here because Åmund Elvesæter campaigned to have it finished.


We followed the river to Lom Bakery for some fresh baked goodies and a loaf of bread to go. The National Park visitor center is here as well as the stave church.
Impressive Stave Church in Lom was worth a wander. “Stave” means vertical planks of wood in case you were wondering as we were.
Detail shot of building techniques from 1158 when this Stave Church was constructed.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways was the first National Park area to protect a river system.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) would be responsible for reforesting public lands, building roads, trails, bridges, and buildings in state and national parks and other public lands across America during the 1930’s. 
Historic Big Springs has a CCC built lodge and cabins as well as several additional buildings like this.
The Big Spring has a wonderful water color.
The CCC also built an impressive flood control dike that is now part of a hiking trail from the campground.
The CCC workers laid out a trail along the cliff to the back of the spring that blended in with the natural environment. They also built a stone ledge wall in the spring branch to stop animals from entering.

Great Rivers: Tennessee to Missouri

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – Tennessee
Piney campground was large and full but we snagged this wonderful site.
Fort Donelson National Battlefield : “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” Ulysses S. Grant, 1862
Cairo, Illinois: the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and 3 states: Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri.
A transportation corridor: We saw a barge transporting a rocket going up Tennessee river to Ohio river, then down the Mississippi to port of New Orleans and then onto Kennedy Space Center.
Not all transportation has been for the best: as the Trail of Tears history shows.
Lewis and Clark spent nearly a week here.
What is the Third Principle Meridian? a longitude reference line running true north from the point of confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 
There is even Spanish history in this area with archeology discoveries.
The New Madrid earthquakes were some of the biggest earthquakes in American history, felt all the way on the East Coast.
In 1811, this was the largest settlement on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Natchez, Mississippi.
A well compiled museum explained more about the quakes.
It was reported that the Mississippi actually ran backwards for several hours.