Top Places to Visit in Norway

This weekend I’m off to a land where most people don’t want to be this time of year–the land of the cold. Packing layers and donning sweaters is me in my element, though, so I couldn’t be more stoked. Plus, apparently there’s a whole town full of my relatives, so my mom and I are taking a soul-searching, life-affirming vacation to explore the depths of our familial history. Quite the emotions. So, in honor of our Norway trek, I decided to ask some awesome bloggers what their favorite spots are in Norway. I’ll learn something and you’ll learn something. Maybe you’ll find these places on your next trip.


Old Lærdalsøyri Village


Tracy says: “Visiting Laerdal with its Old Lærdalsøyri Village which has 161 protected buildings. Some of them date back to the mid-18th century. It’s a beautiful place.”



David says, “Hidden away in the fragmented coastline of central Norway lies the picturesque gem of Alesund. This city surrounded by islands and fjords boasts not only beautiful landscapes, but some of the country’s most exquisite architecture. Here, wonderful art nouveau buildings line the waterfront really just putting Alesund over the top as one of Norway’s most scenic spots.”



“The village of Olden is a beautiful and stunning place to wander,” Paul and Carole say. “Olden is located at the inner end of the Nordfjord, and is characterized by varied and dramatic scenery. Peaceful valleys lie in contrast to gleaming glaciers, foaming waterfalls and towering mountains. Olden is the gateway to the Jostedal Glacier, the largest glacier on the European mainland…23 miles away, and old Viking burial mounds can also be found in the surrounding areas.”



The Village of Tranøy

Mari Longva Hanssen, a local says, “[The outdoor art exhibit seen above] changes every year, and they also have several other pieces of art scattered around this lovely community, as well as a lovely bakery, chapel and light house that are well worth a visit. You also have a view of the Lofoten Wall mountain range from Tranøy.” The first picture is of “The Royal Family’s sailboat outside Tranøy, as the queen visited the area. Tilthornet mountain in the background.”

Mari raves about Norway in general, in case you were iffy on whether or not you want to visit. “I think what I love the most about Norway is the fjords and the mountains and how spectacular they are! To hike and get these magnificent views over endless peaks and fjords or oceans is so satisfying. And also challenging, as many hikes are rather steep. You feel so alive and get away from the everyday hustle and bustle. It is pure therapy for the soul.”

She had numerous amazing pictures and places to share, but with a goal to narrow it down to one place per person, I have to leave it to your imagination.

*The pictures are from Mari’s husband, Frode Longva Hanssen.

The Legend of Champy

Written by Not Wanderlust’s head geologist: Evan Dismukes


It’s been a while and I’m sorry. We got home and immediately got too busy and tired to think about writing. Hopefully you read this because you’re still interested!


We finished our trip by educating the people of New England on the art of the Trapp Squat and how to spell Ohio. Then we moved on to experience the ancient creature known as Champy, The American Loch Ness Monster. Then we went back to the future on a gravity fed time machine.


On July 4th, we rolled up to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with the Motorcycle Trapp Squad and did an OSU Alumni hike up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Mt. Washington is part of the White Mountain section of the Appalachians. The local area is called The Presidential Range because many of the peaks are named after United States presidents. The peaks are magmatic intrusions created as the North American plate moved across a hotspot in the Earth. It was later exposed as the overlaying rock eroded away. Mt. Washington in particular is known to have “the most extreme weather in the world.” In 1934, the mountain held the record for having the highest measured wind speed on the surface of the earth at 231 mph, only to be surprised by a hurricane in 2009. Snow has been recorded at the summet on every day of the year. With the extreme weather, people still die every year while making attempts to summit the mountain. This mountain also has a famous cirque called Tuckerman’s Ravine which is the premier late-season backcountry skiing and party destination. Tucks, as it’s referred to by people “in the know,” is famous for its retention of snow so late into the spring/summer, it’s technical difficulty and the tent city apres ski environment. We reached the cloudy summit with 20 ft visibility, 80 mph winds and a wind chill of 25 degrees in July. Both times I’ve reached the summit of Mt. Washington, it has been the hardest hike I’ve experienced, so bring a map, leave before 9 a.m. and throw up an O-H-I-O with your crew for a summit pic.


After we saw 4th of July fireworks at the foot of Mt. Washington, we split from the Motorcycle Trap Squad and headed west to Lake Champlain. We were hoping to have a sighting of the local legend Champy: The Lake Champlain Monster as we crossed the VT/NY border on the ferry. However, just like how we missed the ferry on our last road trip by minutes, we failed to catch a glimpse of Champy. This lake used to be a part of the Atlantic after the ice sheets retreated. Then, as the crust rebounded, the lake got pushed up above sea level, got separated from the ocean and transitioned from a saltwater to a freshwater lake. Its history as part of the ocean has provided the area with fossils of aquatic dinosaurs leading to the Legend of Champy living in the lake since ancient times. The legend may have been started by people enjoying their lakeside retreats during the summer with some cognac or other libations in hand, but who am I to judge?


After making it to shore safely in New York, we made our way to the Adirondacks, home to the United States Army 10th Mountain Division. 2 billion years ago, this area was made up of ocean sediments, sandstone and shale until it slammed into the North American plate causing these sediments to be heavily metamorphosed. Then, as the European plate separated from the North American plate about 600 million years ago, massive faults formed in the area. These faults eroded out and formed the lakes that exist today. Eventually, these mountains eroded away and were submerged under the sea until about 10 million years ago when the area started to be uplifted, an activity that continues to this day. The source of the uplift is unknown. This fantastic geology produced a place that is a huge center for outdoors and mountain based sports. Lake Placid used this to their advantage to host both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. The facilities constructed for the 1980 Olympics still stand and host tourists and the East Coast Olympic Development program. You can ski the same slope as the Downhill on Whiteface, stand atop the ski jumps and even try to hit 88 mph in a bobsled.


And thus concludes my late finale to the Geology of Sib Trip 2. I hope it was good, we definitely had a great ride. I thought this would be a short post but after traveling all over the country I realized that this region is definitely my favorite place I’ve ever been. I hope you have or get the chance to experience it yourself.

Until next time.

7 Things You Learn on a Long-Term Road Trip (LTRT)

As much as you think physically training for hikes is important, it’s not. Your most valuable asset is your mind. Fine tune that like it’s your job. So, to help you better prepare for your own trip, here are a few things to note if you want to be mentally prepared for a sweet adventure.


You Need a Killer Playlist

You think you have enough music to keep you jamming for miles after miles? You’re probably wrong. The playlist will repeat itself, and you will be stuck skipping every song since you’ve long grown tired of them. Pull together absolutely everything for this playlist. Those songs you only have as novelties, the songs you love to hate (eh hem, let’s be honest, Justin Bieber’s whole new-ish album) and the oldies you can’t help but sway with. Pro tip: don’t fear singing along because that is definitely what will keep you awake at the wheel on hour 12.


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Eat, Walk, Sleep: A Gear Review

Check out thoughts on a Big Agnes tent, Osprey pack, JetBoil Basecamp stove and Brooks trail running shoes.

Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL2



I’ve grown up with dew on my face every single morning in the backcountry, but the BA Happy Hooligan gave me the gift of a dry face. Not that it made me any less smelly, but this tent made sure to keep the elements from ruining a good night’s sleep. We had it in snow, the desert and torrential downpours. We were protected with such a lightweight tent, it was amazing.

Quick overview:

  • Two vestibules (one on each side)
  • Pockets above your face while you’re sleeping
  • Fly vent with a small pole to keep it open during windy nights
  • Velcro tabs to synch fly to poles
  • Silicone treated nylon rip stop material
  • 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating

More details: The vestibules give both people ample area to protect their packs and footwear. Also, the tent without the fly is mostly mesh. Evan and I set up the naked tent in Death Valley and star gazed all night long.

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