In the spring of 2017, paddlers Ryan Salm, Dane Shannon, Jenna Minnes and Jason Layh traveled from their home in Lake Tahoe to the frigid land of Norway. Their plan was two weeks of SUP exploration through the icy fjords of the Lofoten Archipelago, located in the northern reaches of the country. The following excerpts from Salm's journal document the hardships, triumphs, astounding natural beauty and unique culture they experienced in the Arctic.
Walls of Foreboding
They don't boast of calm seas and beautiful weather in Lofoten. Framed pieces of artwork displayed on the walls of hotels, restaurants and public buildings of the small hamlets dotting the landscape depict this place as all gales, lone ships on high, cold seas, giant breakers on beaches and snow-capped peaks. The stories in these works tell tales of difficult winters and the tough lives of fishermen lost at sea.
The Journey Begins
The sun continues to revisit my thoughts as it often does in the Arctic during late April. It must have set at least four times from behind peaks in the last three hours. Alpenglow clings to the tips of massive granite domes and I can't be sure if true night will ever arrive or if dusk will simply hang out until morning.