What do you do when a couple of your best friends decide to cross the Atlantic just (or at least almost just) to come visit you for a week?
No, let me rephrase that: what do you do when people that usually lives in a place like this:
decides to visit a flat little shit hole in the north of Sweden?
I have no idea!
Umeå in late May can offer explosions of green, the sent of bird-cherry trees and looong light nights. This year Umeå in late May offered mouse ears on the trees, horizontal rain and some snow…
On the other hand, Jenn and Matt do come from Wyoming – a state that has about 300 sunny days per year – so perhaps some rain is just what they need 🙂 ?
Probably not, but what the heck, if you get rain instead of shine and bumps instead of mountains you just make the best of the situation and enjoy yourselves as best you can, right?
Yes we did.
First, we showed the Americans the epic 25 vertical meters offered on Gamlia (the old hill). Who needs the dry dirt of Curt Gowdy, Sheep mountain, and Telluride when you can pedal your heart out in mud and over slippery roots and rocks?
Then, I showed Jenn what it looks like when humidity makes rocks cry and grow green hair.
Very exotic. Yes, she had to touch it.
Btw, if you haven’t been to Slåttdalsskrevan at Höga kusten, which I hadn’t even though I live just 2 h away (I obviously was in desperate need of that American visit), you should definitely get your thumb out of your butt and pay it a visit. It is actually quite impressive. And as if the vertical cliff walls weren’t enough, the gorge had a central role in the movie based on Astrid Lindgrens book Ronja Rövardotter (Ronja daughter of bandits), in which it goes by the very nice name “Jaws of hell” or “Hell Hole”. I never really understood how the hell those kids managed to jump across it though.
Anyway, then I had to show Jenn exactly how cold it can be by the sea in late May when you are close to the arctic circle.
And exactly how cold the water IN that sea can be.
Umeå is definitely not spectacular naturewise, but perhaps exactly because of that, people in Umeå (not me) has always come up with ideas to put our little town on the world map. During the 1990’s Umeå was the vegan/hard core/straight edge capital of the world (it was pretty damn fanastic to be a teenager at the time). This year, the world premier of Kung Fury was shown here, simply because the movie was actually created by a Umean.
So of course, we had to show the Americans how a world premier is celebrated close to the arctic circle.
We of course also introduced the Americans to Folk beer.
And to pickled herring, graved salmon, snaps, and enormous amounts of Västerbotten cheese.
They totally got the idea.
And Matt showed his appreciation in a very approriate fashion.
Finally, we showed the Americans how bike parks are built in the north of Sweden – that is, with mud, sweat and bullen’s beer sausage.
And how incredibly sweet it can feel to charge down a very small hill when the trails you are riding on were built by the Bygdsiljum team.
I got the impression that they were pretty pleased.
We ended the whole thing by spotting moose on the side of the road,
Eating burgers on a farm.
And by riding home in the never ending sunset.
Thanks for the visit guys! Next time, we’ll show you how its done ABOVE the arctic circle 🙂