Fantom Path

My 7k started from my front door in Eksund to the Horse & Breeding stables down the road and back in a loop.

(I took some photos along the way to share (1-5)……..

The path starts at the main road where I am greeted by happy Shetland ponies. I see them everyday, but they are a bit bizarre to me to see on a farm.

The dusty, gravel path winds through the immense wheat fields that spread for miles around our little village. I travel up the steep incline to the top of the hill where I can get a full view of the barn and horses at the bottom (2).

I am counting on the grip of my insanely cool Fantom New Balance running sneakers (1).  They are flat and curved like my foot – almost like those 5-finger shoes, but with a wide rounded toe. I feel every piece of gravel under my toes, but it feels as if running shoes were meant to be this way.  I try to remember what my other sneakers felt like, but I think I am gaining speed downhill (4) and hoping I don’t slip, as there is no ankle support when you are running on a feather.  I rarely see a face on my runs here – they trail off into the woods around the farm (3), passing the horses that are placed in corrals around the property.  There are a few houses in the corners of the woods and I wonder what type of country ‘off- the-grid’ living they have here.  Some of the people work at the stables, breeding and training the horses.  A tiny chihuahua chases and barks at me as I pass around the main barn, but he is harmless.  I hope he remembers me next time – with my ipod blaring RANCID, I was alarmed and almost tripped over him!  I got to the back of the property and I am surprised to see two large deer taking off on a playful run across the horse corral.  I almost always lose my breath as I come up this last incline – I am just trying to focus on getting there.  Just as I am running back down the hill, my breathing slows and I am starting to cool down and smile at the pretty horse waiting to greet me at the end of the corral (5). Just then, a wild jackrabbit lunges out across the trail in front of me!  It’s so huge – I have never seen anything like it!  Of course, I am too slow with the camera, so I just keep running on.  As I head home, I am grateful for the peace and quiet and the clean air in my lungs.

It is taking me a while to get back to my usual speed with all of the obstacles on this path, but the scenery and calmness of being in the boonies is worth it!

Until my next adventure…..

2. ponies   3farm

 

4.   DSCN0288  5. DSCN0287

 

 

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” — T.S Eliot

 

Riding a Harley around Sweden is proving to be one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery.  You are thrust into the smells and sounds of the overwhelmingly gorgeous countryside.  Rich aromas of wildflowers bombard your nostrils.  The feeling of weightlessness and clean open air pouring into your lungs is hard to describe in total.

My guide is Ante, my sweetheart, who has so generously welcomed me into his country, home and life.  I grew up in the woods of southern Massachusetts, but this is truly “the boonies” as we call it back home. He has accepted the job of tour guide along the backroads, sharing random historical sights and breathtaking views.  We ride along miles of wheat fields, horse farms and cow pastures. Dark red barn-like houses with white trim and tiny summer homes are grouped in small village clusters, each with it’s own character.  Oh – and the smell of cow manure can also affect you – you cannot roll up the window and get away from it.  Plus, it sparks later conversations about whether the name cow flaps or cow-bops is more appropriate.  The tremendous amounts of cows and manure contribute to the rich soil, which must be the reason the fruit and flowers grow wilder and richer here, than I have ever seen.

Crossing the many lakes and riverways are random bridges with locks or Färjan (ferries) to cross the larger waterways.  We stopped for glass (ice cream) at Stegeborg Castle while waiting for the Färjan across Slätbaken.  We then took a short ride and another Färjan across Bråviken lake, which feeds into the Baltic Sea.

Then there is always fika – the kaffe and kanel bullar (coffee and cinnamon buns) are not the only reason to stop at any of the cafes and inns scattered along the coast road. It is all about the company you keep while attending or hosting fika. Conversation is key and scenery is a plus!

We had a quick lunch at Öscarhalls  – a cool little restaurant built into the side of a rocky hill.  It’s a popular stop for bikers where the folk öl (low-alcohol beer) and Fish and Chips were fresh and tasty.  On our way back I saw a large red fox on the side of the road – my first wildlife sighting (sorry – no pics there). We rode along the coast of Bråviken on the ride back to Norrköping, taking it all in.  The entire ride was about 195 km. (@124 miles).  Whew!  I think I need a new seat.

 

 

Castle

 

 

Ante ferryferrymapOttep lunch

Good eats! Good eats!

Riding Free