The whole family joined me for a walk along a circular route based on Sörmlandsleden, stage 15:2 and part of 15, between the old mine at Skottvång and lake Marviken.
The weather was cloudy and cool but otherwise fine. We saw blue anemones everywhere. The white ones were just starting to bloom, but they were camouflaged since their flowers only open in sunshine. I also saw a very early marsh marigold.
The kids did not enjoy the actual walking part too much, which was pretty much as expected. Luckily there was stuff for them to do and to look at.
At the beginning and end of the trail, near Skottvång, there were numerous works of art in the forest along the trail – odd constructions, plastic plants in unexpected places, funny road signs (pointing towards “tree”, “path”, “air”, “water”, “berries” etc), coffee cups hanging on trees, a modern rune stone, etc.
We stopped for lunch at a picnic spot just off lake Marviken, roughly at the halfway point, and made a fire to heat and cook our food.
There was no firewood at the picnic spot, but there was no shortage of dry branches in the forest nearby. I guess not many people had stopped there recently. The fireplace was a small one and we had no proper tools with us to cut the branches to size. I couldn’t find my camping knife when packing so I only had a little pocket knife with me, but that turned out to be enough for whittling down the thicker branches until I could snap them in two.
Our standard campfire food is “hike bombs”, a recipe I learned from Ingrid’s scout hikes: foil packages containing diced pre-cooked potatoes, vegetables etc. Easy to prepare, easy to pack, quick to cook, and delicious. Our version consists of potatoes, salmon, and broccoli. For dessert, we had “hike bananas”, which is also a traditional outdoor recipe in Sweden: bananas, slit and stuffed with pieces of chocolate, and then grilled.
Both kids enjoyed poking in the fire and putting on more branches, but Adrian was quite cautious about getting close to it. Somehow he nevertheless managed to get soot marks on his forehead, which Ingrid then turned into a war painting.
After lunch we passed and climbed a viewing tower. The tower was more fun than the viewing – the surrounding area is quite flat and all we could see was forest, looking the same in all directions.
The walk back felt shorter than the way out, because we made slingshots for the kids. Shooting and looking for projectiles kept them happily occupied almost all the way to the car.
We only had pieces of ordinary sewing elastic to work with, so the slingshots were neither powerful nor easy to use, but kids were happy as long as their stones flew a few metres. We’ll probably make new ones next time we’re out walking, so I’ll have to do some research to find a better material to use next time.