16. August 2021
Day 73: Tougher Than I Thought
Spansfäbodarna to Smedjebacken
An early start again. Not because it will be a particularly long day but rather because of the forecasted rain this afternoon.
Fairly quiet I leave the hut, which is located within a fäbod and right next to the road. I'm surprised there weren't more people staying. Anyway, I don't complain.
After yesterday's great trail marking, today, well, there aren't any. Using GPS to navigate. But when the map is outdated, respectively trail on the map don't exist in real world, it gets tiring. Half an hour after leaving the hut, I find myself lost in thick forest, a trail nowhere to be seen. It's a pain to bash my way through to the next road. Even though it's just a kilometer. While markings are still missing, at least the next short off-road stretch has a faint trail to follow.
Things improve once I join Sméleden, which is properly marked all the way to Smedjebacken. As it's mostly road walk, that doesn't matter though.
It's mostly easy walking. Yet I don't feel too fit, taking breaks every couple of kilometers. My backpack, which is comparably light with food for 2 more days, feels heavy nonetheless. The weather seems to stay favorable for longer than I thought, so no stress. An overlook on top of a hill offers sweeping views of the area around me. Lots of forest.
It's also where I discover two ticks on my legs. Pretty unnecessary but after all this hiking through forest inevitable. Still, quite a bummer and it's definitely dampening my mood. For the remaining 10 kilometers, I constantly keep checking for ticks.
Smedjebacken is reached by 15:00. Well, I don't go into the town itself but rather stay at Lottas Krog, a nice, old hostel, located right next to the trail for the night. After 6 days it's time for a hot shower again.
I've been looking forward to treat myself with a pizza from around the corner, which in Scandinavia is a kilometer away. I slowly walk there only to realize it's closed for renovation. Oh well, so back again. Some more kilometers after a 40 kilometers day don't make a difference anymore.
With my belly full of pasta, I go back to my room, using the wifi to plan the next couple of days. More towns, more forest. I don't expect it to be too challenging. But with thru-hiking... You never know.