Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 20


This 20th installment update submitted by David Anderson documents the completion of his trip and his primary reason for this adventure.  Thank you David for taking us along. 

If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor


25 June, 2014, Wednesday

Mark Twain once wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” 

I think that Twain’s view of travel in this case is travel for recreational purposes, not one of necessity.  It is not the form of travel undertaken by my ancestors when they left Sweden and came over to a foreign country in which to make a new home.  It could have been hunger and the promise of having land on which to grow food that prompted my grandfather to leave.  It could have been escaping having to continue military service that drove my great-grandfather to leave Sweden.  We don’t totally know.  But travel they did. 

Curiosity is a motivating factor in my travels and it has taken me to far corners, (if there can be corners on a sphere), of the earth.  Curiosity on who my ancestors were is what drove me to start trying to find out who they were, where they lived, how they lived, and what they did.  Curiosity of who the people were in the photos that my Great Uncle Eric had from Sweden has brought some people in to my life who I can call friends.  Curiosity about my Great great Grandparents from a place (incorrectly) spelled “Gonsapengen” led us to relatives who are friends.

On the first trip to Sweden in 1985 we didn’t know our relatives.  We largely relied on tourist brochures to determine what places were of interest to visit.  Several years after that first trip the genealogy bug became a fully fledged bug that fed on my curiosity to find out more.  Local genealogists and historians gave of their time to answer questions and find our unknown relatives.  It was curiosity about my ancestors that led to us to meet people who are our relatives, and ‘almost relatives’.  And it is through all of those people that two Americans who are half Swedish were able to see and do some amazing things on an all too short trip out of our “one little corner of the earth.”  We were allowed to do some amazing things that few regular tourists ever get to do on a trip because our friends and relatives thought we might find something they take for granted of interest, or they thought we might be interested in seeing some place they knew of that ‘isn’t on the map.’  All I can say is Tusen Tack, and that doesn’t fully express the appreciation we feel towards those who opened themselves and their homes for us.

Sweden is more than a country of picturesque scenery of fir and birch forests and fields full of cute little red houses and red barns, it is a country, like all other countries, that is full of people who are after all just like us.  If we find out that people are just like us how can we be full of “prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness”?

I hope I never run out of curiosity.

Most all of the photos from the trip have now been added to flickr.  Some are being edited and captions will eventually be put on many.  In the meantime though you can see what has been posted on flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ujelang/ .

David Anderson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 19


This 19th installment update submitted by David Anderson connects the dots from previous trips to Sweden to this 2014 visit.  It highlights some very emotional moments for David, as he is beginning to prepare for the trip back to Portland.  This is a must read.

If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
 

June 22 2014,  Sunday            

On our 2nd trip to Sweden in 1995 my parents and I knew a lot more about our Swedish heritage than we had on our first trip in 1985.  I had located relatives in Småland, the Lingmerths and Beckers, and we had a great time getting to know relatives on my grandmother’s side of the family.  And, I had been able to locate one relative in Hedemora who was still living and was very excited to meet us and show us around.

During our visit to Hedemora I went to the offices of the Dala-Demokraten newspaper with copies of old portrait photos of people from Hedemora.  I figured it would be a long shot to have them publish some of the photos in the paper, and who knows, but maybe someone would recognize someone from photos from about the 1890’s.  Luck happens, and it was worth a shot.

The Dala-Demokraten was more than willing to publish four photos with a story on “David Söker Sina Rötter.”  We finished up our trip and returned home.  We had a great time and that was that, until about a week after I got home I opened my mail box and there was a large envelope from Sweden. 

I opened the envelope and there was a letter and a copy of the newspaper clipping from the Dala-Demokraten, with handwritten notes for each of the four photos.  I about dropped over backwards.

Anna Mattsson began her letter “Dear Friends”, and proceeding to tell us how she had been raised by her Grandmother, Pelles Anna and because of that she knew the history of Grådö, where my Grandfather was born.  The photos included two of her Grandmother, a fiancé of her Grandmother (they didn’t get married), and a gal who was believed to have been a fiancé of her Grandmother’s former fiancé.  WOW, was I giddy!

Anna and I corresponded, and three years later in October 1998 my parents and I made our third trip to Sweden.  This was also my parent’s 50th Anniversary!  We travelled to Småland, where we again met our Lingmerth relatives, before heading north to Dalarna and our meeting with Anna Mattsson and her husband Ivan.

In 1888, at the age of 20 my Grandfather Fred Anderson emigrated to Kansas.  A year later his older brother Anders Erik follows and in 1892 their parents and surviving two brothers also move to Kansas.  Our family lore says that Uncle Eric had wanted a girl by the name of “Pelles Anna” to move over and they would get married.  Anna, didn’t move over to America and Uncle Eric never married.  And that’s about what we knew. 

Anna Mattsson’s letter told us what we had known and then some.  She knew where the house my grandfather was born in had been located, AND, she located the farm that we had a photo of that had been taken sometime around 1890-1900.  That photo had been taken at Källviken, Hedemora and we now think most likely included my great grandmother, Anna Ersdotter Klingström’s brother Anders Johan Klingström!

 

1998 photo 

We met up with Anna in Avesta and she guided us to Knallasbenning (Grytnäs) where my great grandmother Anna Klingström was born before taking us to Källviken (Hedemora).  At Källviken I had to get out in the same field and get photos of my parents, Anna and Ivan and our translators Tomas and Jane Åhmark-Vikman.  It was a goose bump feeling to stand close to where another photographer had stood about 100 years previously to take a photograph that is currently in my possession.

After Källviken we travelled over to Grådö where Anna guides us to the location of the house Svens, where my Grandfather was born in 1868.   There she present me with a plain brown envelope and said, here, these belong to you.  I don’t know how these came to be with my family, but they belong to you. 

 
Inside were original documents from the late 1800’s when my great grandfather bought the house Jonas Erkers and two copies of documents where he borrowed money from his brother-in-law Anders Johan Klingström before they emigrated to the U.S.  Talk about goose bumps!  It was more than goose bumps, it was a direct connection to the past, and to get it where my ancestors, worked and lived, was a strange feeling indeed.

At the homesite where my Grandfather was born Anna explained that the house, like many others, had been torn down during WWII, and the wood was sent to Stockholm to heat homes during the war.  However, while we were there a small rose bush was found and Anna told us that that rose had grown below a window in the house, named Svens.  Everyone agreed that we should have a start from the rose, and I explained that I couldn’t take it home with me since it would most likely be seized by Customs.

Jane Åhmark, Mom, Anna Mattsson, Dad, Tomas Vikman (Janes husband) and
Ivan Mattsson (Annas husband).

A start of the rose from Svens did eventually make it to Portland and it now grows in my yard

 
On June 22, 2014, my last full day in Dalarna, and after half a day driving around sightseeing in northern Västmanland and southern Dalarna Tomas, Jane and myself return to Grådö to try and find the location for Svens.  We take one road then another before finally driving up a road and there it was. 

The current owner’s wife is curious to know why three people in a car are in her yard, but she confirms that we are in the right spot and is more than willing to guide us to the homesite! 

Me at the house site of Svens.  My grandfathers birth Place.

We get up there, it is a scenic spot overlooking the valley and in the distance the steeple of the church in Hedemora.  Not much had changed at the spot, but the rose that once grew here was no longer to be seen. 

After spending some quiet reflection time at the site I return to talk for a bit with the current land owners.  The sun is getting low on the horizon at 7 pm and it’s long rays cast shadows over the small rise where Svens used to be.  In my mind’s eye I can see a small cottage and people in the doorway. 

View down the lane leading away from Svens.

Down the lane a horse drawn carriage leaves, taking first a son, and then another, before the four surviving members of my ancestors leave Grådö for a new home far far away.  My Uncle Eric returned once, maybe to try and persuade Pelles Anna to move to America with him, but he returned to America by himself.  He wrote Pelles Anna many times and wrote to her granddaughter Anna who remembers receiving a quarter from Uncle Eric.  Mom gives Anna a dollar to commemorate the reunification of two families who are almost relatives.

Dad (George Anderson), Anna Mattsson  and 
Mom (Dorothy Anderson) giving Anna a $1.

Dad and Mom are gone now, as are Anna and Ivan.  My grandparents I never met.  Even though I have no idea of what winters are like in Sweden I think I know my ancestors from Dalarna a bit better after this trip to Sweden.

David Anderson

 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 18


This 18th installment update submitted by David Anderson documents the 2014 Midsummer celebration in Grytnäs, Sweden.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
 

20 June, Friday

It is Mid-Summers day, when all of Sweden has the day off to celebrate the sun’s northern most reach in to the northern hemisphere.  This is an event that goes back to the dawn of human awareness that the seasons change.  There is a time of light, a time for dark; a time for growth, a time for harvest; a time for work, a time for rest; a time to celebrate life.

 
Throughout the country from cities to the smallest villages people celebrate the longest day of light.  In six months, in the darkest days of winter, the promise of longer days of light will be celebrated when select girls wear candles in their hair.  These are celebrations that mark the changing of the seasons.  Mid-summers is a joyous celebration of life. 

 
We went to Grytnäs parish’s Hembygsgård to watch the festivities.  Cars lined the narrow country roads as they were throughout the country.   Hembygsgården, for those who don’t know are local open air museums that preserve historically important buildings.  Several of the buildings were open, including a great example of a farm house, where a few books of local interest were being sold.  I had to obtain a ‘new’ book for my library at home, a book published in 1953 titled “Grytnäs Socken”.   It will take me awhile to use a letter opener to finish the job the printer didn’t do since the book wasn’t trimmed after binding.

 

Here's a link to part of the Midsummers video:


After watching the maypole going up, traditional dancing, and everyone dancing around the maypole we went home to gather with friends, eat a fine meal that included locally produced ham, smoked bacon, and freshly made pickled herring, and just a little drinking of beer and locally made vodka (otherwise known as moonshine in the U.S.). 

Smårgäsbord

The party had an international flavor with people from Israel, Great Britain and the U.S.  Sweden in some respects is also a nation of recent immigrants.   A great time was had by all on the evening of the longest day of the year in Sweden.  It was a special time to celebrate Mid-Summers in the home of my ancestors.
 
David Anderson
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 17


This 17th installment update submitted by David Anderson documents an interesting reason for the need of a visit to the little village of Husby.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
 
 
June 18, 2014, Friday

I had several goals in mind today when I set out by myself to explore my ancestral home area.  Husby, was at the top of the list.  Husby is a small sleepy village on the banks on the wide Dalälven river not too far from Hedemora, It is no longer on the main road from Hedemora to Borlänge.  One of my ancestral families lived here for a brief 4 year period from 1779 to 1783 before he ultimately moved south to Hedemora.  None of my direct ancestors were born here, but an aunt was.  So, why was Husby so important to visit? 



I have been collecting information on Swedes in Oregon to the SweAme website for a while now.  A year or so ago, I was going thru prisoner records from the Oregon State Penitentiary looking for people who claim to be born in Sweden, extracting data for those and copying their booking photos if there are any left in the files. I call this select group of gentlemen, my “penpals”. 

One person I came across was from Portland, was prisoner 8289, one Anders Albert Ausplund, a Physician, who had been sent to the Pen for murder.  That caught my attention. 




What is a good Doctor doing getting charged with murder?  That sent me on a tangent, that still continues, to find out more.  Long story, short, the Doctor seems to have been a real Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde personality.  He did a lot of good helping people, but he also had a very dark side.  He had been sent to the Pen on charges of murder of a girl, who it turned out was engaged to be married and was pregnant. She died on Dr. Ausplund’s operating table from complications from an abortion.  After Dr. Ausplund had finished his sentence he was to be returned to Sweden. 

The girl’s fiancé came forward and said that no, the Doctor wasn’t the one who performed the abortion, it was a self- induced abortion gone bad.  That his fiancé didn’t want to be pregnant when they were married, and she had taken steps to terminate the pregnancy.  Things had gone badly and she went to the Doctor to try and get things patched up. 

Oregon’s governor at the time came to the rescue of the good Doctor, and issued a pardon and all things were bright and sunny again.  But, wait, not so fast.  Mr Hyde was always there lurking and waiting and popping up at all the wrong times.  There were marriages and divorces, even a duel with another Doctor over perceived insults.  There was even the death of his son who was saving a niece from drowning in the Columbia River.  There was the death of a younger brother who was also studying to be a dentist in Colorado, and a run-in with a neighbor in Hood River.

This is the material tragic Operas are written about.  And, if I could write one in Swedish I would be doing it. 


And on the farm Aspåker, in the parish of Husby, on the banks of the wide Dalälven is where it all began for Anders Albert Ausplund on 29 December 1866.
 
Read more about  Dr. Ausplund here.
 
David Anderson
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 16

This 16th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes the Norberg and Fagersta area of Sweden.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
 
June 17, Tuesday

Old western U.S. ghost towns have fascinated me for a long time, as have old cemeteries, so it should be no surprise that genealogy has become a serious hobby and pastime.  During my trip I wanted to explore some new areas, as well as sites related my ancestors.    Today I continue to get to know the countryside a bit better, and that helps me understand Swedish society and my ancestors a bit better.

Today my current host, Jane Åhmark and I planned to travel to Norberg, Fagersta, and back up to Österfärnebo before heading back to the Avesta area.  Well, as fate sometimes determines you don’t always do what you thought you might!  You might do something even better, who knows?!  As it turned out we didn’t get out of the Norberg / Fagersta area, there were just too many things to stop, look and photograph.

Iron mining and production has been an important business in Sweden for quite some time.  One area where this has been very important is now part of Ecomuseum Bergslagen, (ekomuseum) an area that would take three hours to drive (with no stops to view the sites).  Norberg is near the middle of the region and contains sites that date back to the 12th century – during Medieval times. 

Several of my ancestors came from places names that include “hyttan” as a suffix.  Stusshyttan in Grytnäs parish is one example.  Hyttan is the Swedish word for foundary and indicates that a foundary had been located at that location at one time.  Nya Lapphyttan is located next to Norberg’s Hembygsgården.  Both are worth the visit.  Nya Lapphyttan is a recreation of a iron production site from that started in the 12th century, and includes refining, smithing, living and storage building. 

 
 
Klackberg dates back to the 14th century and contains some very highly photogenic buildings and mining pits. It is also a nature reserve, great for birding and botany.  There is a small deposit of lime stone in the area which allows the Rödsyssla orchid to grow here.  We were lucky enough to have met some botanists who allowed us to tag along with them, who were headed to the spot where one was in full bloom! 

 

 
Högfors bruk is one of the more recent foundaries, having started in 1915.  The remains of two blast furnances make this spot highly photogenic.  When travelling to the border region of Dalarna and Västmannland I recommend visiting several of the Ecomuseum’s sites. 


In Norberg the church was open, unlike the first time I had been there, and we were able to see the insides.  The ceiling and altar piece are definitely worth seeing.  The small rural church at Karbenning was also visited and I noticed markers there that indicated who was responsible for the upkeep of the various graves.  Several graves that did not have the grass mown, or flowers put out by the cemetery contained green signs requesting family members or responsible party to contact the churchyard for information regarding the administration of the grave.  It was very interesting to see unmown grass on various graves in the churchyard.

David Anderson

Monday, June 16, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 15


This 15th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes the village of Arnäs near Örnsköldsvik, still along the High Coast of Sweden.

If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor

June 16, Monday

The E4 between Örnsköldsvik in the north and Uppsala in the south has got to contain some of the boringnest stretch of road anywhere.  Except for Höga Kusten bron there is little to break the monotony of the coniferous-birch forest that stretches for miles on end. 

Högakustenbron

I exaggerate a little, because there is a town or two and there’s Skuleberget, but not too much else.  E4 was after all built for functionality to move people and goods from here to there, not sightseeing.  If you want to sight see, get off the new E4, and drive the old E4 right of way, it will slow you down and you will see a whole lot more of small towns and farms.

Small barns at Arnäs kyrka near Örnsköldsvik

In the time that my ancestors lived here Church attendance was mandatory, regardless of the distance you lived from your parish church.  Parishes were generally small enough so everyone shouldn’t have a problem in getting to church on time.  Some of the larger parishes built small barns that horses could be sheltered in while the people were attending church.  A few of the parishes still have these small barns standing.  Boats were used on Siljan in Dalarna to get people to church.



At Arnäs kyrka near Örnsköldsvik the small barns are still standing as is the parish grainary.  The grainary was built and maintained communally.  It was built to allow farmers a place to keep their grain.  The buildings were built on piers, off the ground, to discourage rats and mice from entering and eating the grain.  Another problem, theft and pilferage by individuals, was addressed by the fact that to enter the grainary required three specific people with specific keys to open the door.  One key was needed for the padlock, while two other keys were required to unlock the door locks.


Between Hudiksvall and Söderhamn just east of E4 is the small community of Enånger.  It is definitely worth seeing since many fine old buildings still exist, including a “Medletidskyrka”. 


The church was built in the 15th century, and I wanted to see it. There is a photo that was taken of it about 1900 on flickr (Enånger Old Church), and it is interesting to note the increase in trees that are found there now when compared with the time the photo was taken.  Forested land has increased dramatically in Sweden, while the amount of farmed land has decreased.  Sweden produces only about 50% of it’s own food, from what I have heard. 




Behind the church is a very small two room jail that was used to house prisoners or the insane on their way to prison or the mental hospital.  I couldn’t imagine being housed in small rooms for very long.  Very small windows high up on the doors and walls allowed minimal light, and in winter it would not only be dark, but freezing since there did not appear to be any heat source.  I wonder how people would have survived a few nights incarceration in there in winter.  I have worked on the Lost Alaskans Project (Morningside Hospital ) and this small jail in Sweden gave me an idea of what the mentally ill in Alaska faced before transport to Portland, Oregon. 

I would like to thank all of you who are following me around in Sweden, and am glad to have received your comments.  I wish you all the best of Mid-Summers!


David Anderson

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 14


 
This 14th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes Skuleskogen National Park in the High Coast area of Sweden. 
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
 
June 15, Sunday
 
The park brochure for Skuleskogen National Park proclaims that trolls and giants once lived in the forests found here.  I can believe it and I think we saw the door to the entrance to The Hall of the Mountain King, but we didn’t want to stick around and find out!

Could this be the door to the Hall of the Mountain King?

Skuleskogen is one of Sweden’s 29 National Parks, it is about 7566 acres in size, and it lies within Höga Kusten World Heritage area.  I’m not sure what the maximum elevation is, but it is probably not more than 1000 feet, but it feels more like the High Sierras in some respects.  When you eat your lunch beside a lake that is at an elevation of only 560 feet, it looks like a lake in the very high Sierras.  The trees are small, the bedrock is granitic and it’s been glaciated.  The tree size at this location in Sweden is controlled in large part by the latitude, while in the Sierras it is controlled in large party by elevation.  Judging by some of the higher buttes that have a thicker forest at their tops than on the slopes below some of these buttes would be above the 286 sea level line as found on nearby Skuleberget.

Cabin at Tärnättvattnen, elevation 172 meters.

The place is a great area to study physical geography of glaciation, land uplift and, sea erosion.  It is an area where southerly plants reach their northerly range and some alpine plants reach their southerly range.

One of the scenic highlights of the park is Slåttdalsskrevan.  It is a large cleft in the otherwise solid granite that appears to have been created with a dike of less resistant lava intruded was eroded away.  This spot, along with the “door” seen lower down will definitely have you humming “The Hall of the Mountain King” tune by Greig! 

Me in Slättdalsskrevan, a large cleft in the otherwise solid red granite.
Tourists here are friendly, just like users of back country trails in the U.S..  In addition to Swedes we talked with people from Germany and the Netherlands.

While hiking the trails I couldn’t help but wonder how I would route the trails differently, since I do volunteer trail maintenance at Mount St Helens in Washington.  Trails here seemed to go straight up the mountain rather than contour around and switchback up.  Normally that would be an issue, at least in the Pacific North-west, but here it isn’t since the shallow soils force the roots out laterally and they crisscross each other and form an interlocking web the keeps the rocky soil pretty much locked in place.

I would definitely recommend hiking around Skuleskogen.  Wear sturdy shoes and your ten essentials!  Camping is allowed in specified areas.

A view in Skuleskogen National Park, looking out over Sweden's Höga Kusten.


My photos from the park can be seen at flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=93705139@N00&q=skuleskogen
 
David Anderson
 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 13


This 13th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes Skeppsmalen fishermans chapel, Själevads church and the process for un-kept burial plots.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor

 

June 14, Saturday

 
Several years ago while working on a genealogical project I had an idea that I thought might be helpful for people who wanted to know what a specific Swedish parish church might look like.  There are several parishes that my ancestors lived in that I haven’t visited and I wanted to know what the church looked like, just out of curiosity.  Since I store my photos on flickr I decided to start a flickr group where people could post photos of Svenska kyrkor.  I also figured that churches are an important part of the Swedish cultural landscape and should be recorded. 
The smallest church, or chapel in this case, that I have visited in the area around Örnsköldsvik is the fisherman’s chapel at Skeppsmalen in the Höga Kusten World Heritage Area, Västernorrland.  A chapel has been there since about 1795, and the current church yard contains memorials to lost fishermen and ship’s pilots. 

 



The chapel’s key hangs outside the door enabling visitors to enter.  Taking a look at the pews, I am glad I didn’t have to sit in those for extended periods.  They are narrow and look uncomfortable, so I guess there wouldn’t be much of any problem of too much snoring going on during the service.

 
Själevads kyrka is probably one of the prettiest in the area around Örnsköldsvik.  It is an octagon in shape, which is not common in Swedish churches.  The altarpiece commands your attention when you walk through the church doors.  It is large and dark and depicts the Crucifixion. 

Generally when doing research in Sweden, the grave yard is not generally high on the list of places to search, since old graves are generally infrequently found.  That is because Sweden a grave plot is leased for 25 years.  As long as the lease is paid on time the occupant is left alone for another 25 years.  While walking around Själevads kyrkogården I noticed an older marker and took it’s photo, and then notice the small marker at it’s base which read: “Återlämnad”, or Returned. 

 
One of my to do projects is to research and see if there are any relatives of Hilda Forssberg out there.  They may appreciate a photograph of her marker, since chances are it won’t be around too much longer.  See what I mean one thing leads to another?

When a person is buried the family can request and pay the cemetery to maintain a grave, or they can do it themselves.  If the cemetery is paid to maintain the grave they will also rake the gravel, place flowers or mow the lawn. If the family doesn’t wish to have the graveyard pay for those services they are responsible to tend the grave.  A sign in the Arnäs church yard indicated that several graves were unsafe and needed to be done to prevent them from toppling.  We saw several signs indicating unsafe monuments.

 
This is a grain storage house door.  The storage house is built up off the ground so it is difficult for rats and mice to enter and eat the stored grain.  It is also made difficult for people to steal from it since it requires Three people to be present with the Three keys it takes to open it.  One for a padlock and two for the door's locks.

 
 
Arnäs kyrka.

 

 

 

Return To Sweden, Part 12


This 12th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes a trip up to the Höga Kusten, or Sweden’s High Coast and a ski chair lift ride to the top of the resort – Skuleberget.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor

13 June, Friday

Here I am in Sweden at the height of the all too short sunny warm summer.  Summer in Sweden is like my trip – too short.  Three weeks may sound like a long time to spend in one country away from home, but it really is not.  There are just too many things to see and do in a short period of time.  I have no comprehension of winters in Sweden.  For me I think they would be brutally cold and dark.  I can’t imagine them, or how people survived in small, cramped, smelly, tsugans.  They often didn’t survive the harsh winters as death records attest since pneumonia, tuberculosis, scarlet and typhoid fevers were common causes of death.  Summer is all too short.

Debbie has gone home.  Her view of the world is different now, now that she has travelled beyond the confines of North America. 


Billboards are not allowed in Sweden, and generally are taken down pretty quickly.  Maybe.  The parking of trailers in a field, alongside the road isn't against the law, and so what if there is something on the side of it??  The farmer doesn't mind!

Jonne and I have travelled up to the Höga Kusten, or Sweden’s High Coast.  He wanted to show this area to me, and I wanted to see something new and different while in Sweden.  The High Coast is a world heritage site, one of 14 such sites in Sweden.  The reason this area has been so designated is that during the last ice age the 3 kilometer thick ice sheet depressed the earth’s crust by as much as 800 meters in places.  As the ice melted that land began to rise.  And in some places it has risen 286 meters (over 900 feet).  At the small 290 meter high hill named Skuleberget the former sea level is marked at the 286 meter elevation.  The changes in vegetation at this level is quite noticeable.  Above 286 meters there is a layer of glacial till that allowed plants to take footholds, while below that the ocean washed away what till was there, and plants have had a harder time colonizing the bare granite substrate.

 
The top of 290 meter tall Skuleberget (a ski resort) provides great views of Sweden's Höga Kusten.  You can hike up, or take the ski Life up - the easy way up.    (that is me!).