Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spending time with my son in the woods

Today saw the converging of some circumstances that made it possible for me to spend some qualitytime with my son in the woods; the weather was good, he had a day off from school, the ladies of the family were of to work or school, so we could spend some time alone AND he actually felt like going.
So after the ladies left, we got our things and went... The sun was shining, birds were calling and it was just an overall great springday. We decided to take an appropriate route, called Svensvägen.

We found some really great and fresh badgertracks. First ones I've seen around here. Sven also had a first experience; drinking water straight from the source! We found this stream of meltwater; chrystalclear and stonecold!

During our hike we found the remains of an old kolarkoja (coaler's cabin). The fireplace still was in great shape. If we'd had cleared the chimney we could have used it right away. The ridge in front of the Sven is a remaining wallsection. A bit further into the woods we found a place which I believe to be the site of the kiln; flat, round and no vegetation.

At one point we came across a clearing and we noticed that as soon as the treeline was passed, there was snow remaining on the ground, which was quite remarkable, since the clearing was laying in sun. We walked onto that clearing, sat on some rocks and soaked in the sun..... We used the opportunity to have a little meal and I dropped one of the eggs we brought along. Yet that did survive its fall, due to the container it was being transported in; an empty, plastic spicecontainer. I used that trick a few years ago for the first time and now it came in handy! The raw egg was cracked a bit, but still in one piece and useable. The container bears the scar of the rocksedge it landed on.
While sitting there and just talking a bit, I spotted a large bird gliding through the air.... The buzzards are back!

After the break we moved on, scouting out new parts of the woods. I had left the map at home and since we did not know the terrain we kept to the tracks made by the woodcutters machines, both new and old. After a while we were getting hungry. We figured that the "nearby" viewpoint would be a good spot for lunch, but that still meant a good hours walk at least. It has a fireplace, plenty of wood and would be facing the sun, so more vitamin D to take on board.
We saw quite a bit of animalsigns today; moose tracks, droppings and feedingsigns. Even a very fresh track, having crossed a dirtroad after we had passed that place and we discovered the fresh imprints on our way back, heading toward the viewpoint.
As we were on our way, Sven discovered a sign I had not seen before. It showed a significant shortcut to the viewpoint. I allways thought that path belonged to someone else's driveway, but it turned out to be not. So we took that path. It should be a 400meter hike, instead of a 3km one. The terrain however was "slightly" more challenging, but all the more worth it!

As my son saw me...
When we reached the viewpoint, which had wood and a small hatchet present, we prepared lunch, boiled the eggs and made tea. Sven had brought his old German army messkit and I my Dutch army canteen. We took it easy for quite a while, sitting in the sun, relaxing, chatting and I learned him a few tricks, such as making a brush from a birchtwig and how to use it as a dishes brush, together with the ashes from the fire. He then made a brush for himself, pounding the twigend with the backside of the hatchet.
I had brought my binoculars and they came in handy. We looked at the terrain around and below us and watched first one, then two buzzards gliding through the air. I am sure one of them we had seen earlier.

After lunch we took the long way home. We were getting tired, especially Sven, since we did not just casually stroll through the woods, but kept a bit of a pace. He certainly is not used to this kind of exercise. But we both had enjoyed it and each other's company.....
Days like this make good memories!

Passing one of the many miningholes on our way home and we made it just before my oldest daughter came home from school. Good timing.. ;)

Some of today's afterthoughts;
Small boys get bigger real quick! Sven was wearing one of the Dutch army jackets I wore in service some 25 years ago! Whilst I was wearing the matching pants and noticed that these were starting to fall apart literally, the jackets are still going strong. So I can pass some of my own old military gear down to him. I somehow think that that is a bit special... He also loved the daypack, so that is his now as well.

Spending such a day with someone else is great fun. Sharing trouble is half the trouble, but sharing fun is double the fun.

I really like the canteen from Sven's German messkit. It is an aluminium one with a large bottleneck and an cap that has a wider screwthread which makes it easy to open and close. The water it contained tasted a lot better than the water from my plastic bottle, too.

My bag was loaded to heavy. I need to carry the waterbottle separately in order to reduce bulk and weight. Adding a wider shoulderpad is on the to-do-list too.

The belt was handy in winterconditions, but cumbersome in warmer weather, when you want to take off layers of clothing. I think I will transfer some "essentials" to the bag, but most of them can easily be left in the pouches, since I have doubles or can easily make or get them. I'll have to think that over.


And after having spent a good portion of my day with my son, I ended up spending a part of the afternoon with my oldets daughter.....helping her baking cupcakes..... The life of a dad can be full of surprises.....

And while I am at it, I want to show you something our red cat caught, and I saved, yesterday....
Me and the Mss were strolling though the garden, looking at all the signs of spring and watching him hunt and catch something. Something that did not look like the usual mouse or vole!

Pay attention to that look in its eyes!

Is it a beauty or what


  1. Some real qualitytime there.
    Good stuff.

  2. Excellent time spent. I meant to comment on this a few days ago. Being in places like that is awesome. Only thing that makes it better is having someone special to share it with. Good on you Ron!

  3. Thanks for the replies, guys.
    It sure felt special to the both of us.

  4. Yap, it is a beauty!!!!

    And a quality outing you both had, and I guess those moments will last forever. Good you pass it on and Sven is willing to take what you have to give... Thanks for sharing!