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> Arctic Circle 2022

Bikepacking north to the Arctic Circle.

I took a short bikepacking trip up to the Arctic Circle, and took a couple photos along the way. Think of this post as me trying to start building out the gallery functionality. In the future I especially want to add an interactive map!

SCA factory. Water in front and big chimney stacks with vapor coming out of them

Among the things I love about bikepacking around Sweden is the diverse nature, and especially the farms. Industrial farms in other countries scare me. This is also the start of a common sight in the northern parts of the country - electricity generation.

Big green pasture with several cows. Wind turbines in the distance.

The next day started with some light fog in Ådalen. To give some context, Ådalen roughly translates to “River Valley”. It stretches inland from Sundsvall on the east coast in the middle of Sweden.

Morning fog. Road stretching downhill with hill peaks increasingly less visible because of the fog

A classic SAAB (or is it a Volvo?) car in the fog with another wind turbine in the distance. As we’re traveling further and further inland the terrain starts turning hilly.

Twisting downhill road, dark blue SAAB car, and the top of a wind turbine obscured by a hill and the light fog. Zoomed in picture of a rock wall

Following Ådalen is also a part of Stambanan - the main railroad line of old. Nowadays most of the train traffic follows the coast, but there’s still the occasional goods train passing by here.

Gravel road with a railway crossing in the distance. Cloudy weather with some large hills. An old wooden bridge. Picture taken straight thru the pylons. There's a sign above the road telling people that it can handle less than 1.5 tonnes.

The endless signs that northern Sweden is the main producer of electricity we reach another hydropower dam. Compared to the huge infrastructure in the US, and especially China, the ones in Sweden are discreet. All of them obscured behind forest. So there isn’t much that you see besides the powerlines visible in earlier pictures and access roads, but here’s a turbine!

Hydropower turbine placed on a disused bridge pylon in the middle of a river.

Whoa! Here’s the first fluffbutt of the trip! Please excuse the terrible photos of the reindeer. I’m on a bike and unlike cars, they think that bikes are friggin’ scary.

Terrible picture of a reindeer running away.

Back to electicity stuff.

Big vista with a road going thru the middle of a lake created by a power plant. A couple wind turbines are visible in the distance as well.

When covering long distances you start appreciating the small things. Like a nice cup of the cheapest blueberry tea you can find.

View from inside my tent. There's a couple trees, and a lot of moss outside. A camping mug on a multifuel burner with a teabag in it. There's a bit of steam rising as its coming up to a boil.

Next up - the Swedish Lapland.

Asphalt road with a blue sign on the right side saying Västerbottens Län, Lappland, Åsele Kommun.

The first major city after Sundsvall is Åsele. Major is a very comparative term though. Åsele municipality only has about 2 thousand inhabitants.

Big grafitti piece on the wall of the library in Åsele. It has a couple different stylized forest creatures.

Oh, a dangernoodle is on the side of the road! It’s a European Adder/Viper. They’re mostly harmless and try to avoid humans as best they can.

Snake on the roadside. It's an adder with a zig-zag pattern on the back A long stretch of straight road with dense forest on the sides. The sun is coming down.

Before going back to the regular programming, here are some more fluffbutts. Unlike the ones before, there’s a special one here.

Albino reindeer, and a regular reindeer. Both with large horns. A herd of reindeer completely ignoring a passing car, but a couple reindeer closer to me that are running away like crazy. Almost looks like theyre stumbling.

Cyclists are dangerous, cars aren’t!

More reindeer ignoring cars.

Further north, and now away from Ådalen we come up to Arvidsjaur. The city is on the precipice to Fjällen, the more mountainous areas of Sweden and home to the biggest national parks.

Along the inner part of the country there’s another railroad. It’s more or less not used because all of the transport goes along the coast but you can still take a small passenger train.

A two-wagon passenger train going over a bridge. The valley where Arvidsjaur is located, lots of forest.

Not far north from Arvidsjaur we pass Piteälven. One of the major rivers going eastward towards the Gulf of Bothnia.

Sunset over a lake, orange-pinkish skye, with small mountains far away in the distance The road down to Piteälven. Sky is purple, with forest on the sides of the road. Piteälven at sunset, the water is flowing fast over rocks with lots of foam.

Another fresh summer morning in the forest.

Forest, bike leaning against a tree with the sun glinting in the disc brakes.

Norwegians on a roadtrip in Sweden. This is the E45, a major highway yet it’s still just 2 lanes.

Norwegian van on the E45. Mountains in the distance behind a veil of haze.

Lastly, the final destination of this trip - the Artic Circle sign just outside Jokkmokk on the side of the E45.

Arctic circle sign. It says Polcirkeln, Napapiiri, Arctic Circle. The other two languages (french I think) are unreadable due to the massive amount of stickers.