Yesterday I woke up well aware there was not going to be any motorcycle riding in quite a while, and weather was just brilliant. I got an urgent feeling to get by bike into the mountains, roads where opened for traffic last weekend, and I had heard there was plenty snow still.
Raats, the mountains are not in my backyard, still I trusted my "not so dirty nine" would manage an instant tour reaching the mountains, cross them and get back in one day. I had to manage this without any technical entertainment; I was to leave early this morning for work.
To be on the safe side in getting to the mountains (to ensure I could capture some impressive photos from the snow) I followed main roads from my home up the Setesdal, cruising at 60mph for hours on a 45" is not to bad, the engine hummed and did not let me get any worries.
When reaching the village where the road into the mountains start I felt sorry for the engine, a road so steep I didnt get any higher than second gear for miles and miles, did I hear someone mention HOT engine!!
Luckily the road ascending into the mountain is close to the river where the melting water are in color from green to ice blue and the mist from the water is helping to cool my poor 45" as I am climbing.
All of a sudden there starts to be dots of snow along the roadside, then more snow and soon the most part of the entire mountain plateau is covered by white, this as well as the air temperature is getting sharper.
It is time to take a halt to make photos when snow banks along the road get as high as 3-4 meters (9-12 feet).
OK, I did reach the mountains and its still just passed midday. I decide to take the narrow paths back home. Its so cool, if you know where to go there are alternative routes passing so many great views and sceneries, traditional farm houses and there are traces still from how former habitants travelled up the valley. This was mainly by steam boat, as lakes where connected by an ingenious water lock system allowing the small steamers to be lifted by water from one lake level to another.
Up Setesdal you can still travel, using the restored steamer Bjoren through original water locks to get from one lake to another. Cruising down the Setesdal I feel happy inside, comfortably carried by my seventy three year old companion. When my old W was young at age, steam trains still carried the farmers to the first lake where they changed to boats. I imagine the final part off the travel would in most cases be as passenger on a horse carriage, cars and motorcicles where still rare.
Times change, now everyone travels in a vehicle where the engine is feed by an electronically controlled injection system. If a technical incident occurred there is no need in rolling out your tool pouch, call 911. And still even if their vehicle are close to technically perfect , hardly none have time to travel roads other than the main roads, there is a lot to understand.
I get carried away, I feel like I`m representing resistance to technological developments that make a road trip to an event without any challenge and substance.