So it all started with a bonfire on the Norwegian national day - 17th of May 2016. I felt the peace and quiet of spring in my heart and there was no place I would rather be at that moment. My dogs were lying down licking sunlight and my self was feeding the fire with perfect seasoned pinewood.
By my side were my boyfriend Per Anders lying on his back reading on another adventure book and it hit my clear as lightening from the sky - what if this simple life outdoors could be our every day life for 1 year? A life in the bush without internet, without a phone and just away from people. Just this little family of two-legged humans and our four-legged dogs.
13 months later I’m climbing into the well known bush aircraft called the Beaver, a beautiful machine made for wilderness flying. The dogs are tied up inside the plane and they all look like furry balls wondering where on earth I’m taking them. First I made them fly across the world and know even further! Little did they know they were about to go on their biggest adventure up to date. In the other aircraft is Per Anders with a ton of gear, clothing, food and equipment to last us out the next four season we're going to encounter in the wilderness.
I feel excited and scared at the same time. We’re really doing it! We’re going to fulfill our ultimate pioneer dream - to live in and of the land for almost a year. Totally isolated from people and with the nearest village of natives a 14 days travel away. We have to hunt and fish to make a reasonable living during our stay, as the old-timers did in their days of pioneering and some still do.
We’re flying over a range of mountains of almost 2 hours before we finally spot our lake and our now future home for the year. Within these two hours of flying we only passed one village and the rest was just utter wilderness as far as the eye can see. The smooth landing on the lake is quick and I open the door out of the aircraft to welcome the impressions of our entirely new world. It is both terrifying and thrilling to wave the pilots off when they fly above our heads trusting we’re going to make it on our own. That they didn't just deliver two Norwegians into a sure death.
It’s july and the heat is overwhelming. The dogs are scattered in the willows trying to find their cool spot and they’re not subtle about taking a swim in the lake during the day. We can barely move in this time as it is only possible to stay in the shadow of a huge tree and pour down water to keep the body from dehydrating. One night we wake up to a strong wind coming in from east and with it there comes a strong scent of smoke and the sky is a little blurry.
We understand there is a forest fire somewhere and we decide to call back home to have them check where this fire is located. Having no experience with forest fires we take no chances seeing this through and we can’t sleep anyway knowing there is something going on. But to our relief the fire is in the neighbour territory and out of our reach.
The wind tends to blow the smoke far, far away and lure people into thinking their in immediate danger. This was one of two times we had smoke coming in our valley but both times it was false alarm.
Summer months we’re getting to know the area and this huge world we live in. We make our self a decent campsite and have to clear a lot of bush to be able to make small trails. The only trails one can find is the animals and there is dense spruce forest, willow and just simply bush around the lake were we’re living making it hard to move around. But we are determined to make this lake ours without hurting the environment and we quickly discover one of our closest animal trails only 50 meters away from our camp is actually the predators trail and we encounter many bears during the summer months.
One grizzly bear was particularly intrusive and aggressive.
We spent the whole night trying to scare it off from coming into camp and there was a feeling of being in another kings territory at the moment being bullied by him. The first month we have a lot of visitors coming in to check out their new neighbours on the lake. Three enormous timber wolfs come lurking in one day to find out who these noisy intruders are and they just stand there 60 meters away from our face watching us. The black wolf was like a fairytale sized wolf, like nothing I've ever seen in my life! His huge skull was giant and there was a touch of grey hair on his snout. From my binoculars I could see that the black wolf had to be just about 70-80 kg, which is considered to be a big ass wolf.