The Adventure Run/Hike/Exploration To Remember

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I decided to go out for a run this morning to explore our new home for the next two days. We had arrived at the northern tip of the Varanger Peninsula last night and stayed at a guesthouse just outside of Kongsfjord on the Veines Peninsula.

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I left our guesthouse amidst a dense fog that had appeared overnight and decided to run north on the tundra to the northern shore of the peninsula and then head east.  Initially there was somewhat of a trail.  I stopped periodically to take all of the following photos with my iPhone.

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It was hard to see far in the distance because of the fog and the terrain varied from narrow trails to tundra to rocks.  The tundra was full of different colors and plant life.

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I didn’t see anyone on this run and I felt as though I was the last person at the end of earth.  I continued along the northern shore and came across a large wooden wheel.

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I examined it before pushing on, stopping periodically to take in the views.  I stayed close to the sea and stopped once when I saw 5 sea lions bobbing their heads up out of the water.  They were too far away for a good photo of them.

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I continued on and came across these balls on the landscape.  I suspected they might be from WWII but since I hadn’t read up on the history of this place, I wasn’t sure.

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I went closer to get a view of them up close and wondered if they were cannonballs.

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I knew I was getting farther out on the peninsula and I started seeing more jagged rocks in the landscape.  At one point, I spotted a large white-tailed sea eagle but it flew away before I could get close enough for a photo.  I had to climb some of the rocks when the trail disappeared.

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I then came to what I assumed was the end of the peninsula since I saw a lighthouse in the distance.

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I climbed the rocks to get closer to it and decided to keep going until I reached the peak of the cliffs. I turned around to get a view of the land.

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Here are my thoughts on a video as I described my run so far:

Views of the Peninsula

I left the lighthouse and found a path as I continued up the mountain cliffs.

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I could see on the other side of the cliffs that I would not be able to run along the southern shoreline so I continued with what looked like a trail that would lead me back to the guesthouse.

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I came across some mounds in the tundra and then saw some openings and doorways.  Since I still had not seen anyone in over an hour, I didn’t try to climb down into these areas.

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I then saw the area below and didn’t know what it was, but I began to suspect that the doorways led to bunkers from WWII with various war remnants throughout the land.

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I then came across a bunker that looked safe enough to go inside.  Please click on my video below to see what I explored:

Exploring a bunker

As if all that wasn’t enough on this run, I had a special little (or big) surprise as I continued on my run and came around some boulders.  Please see the following two videos:

Surprise 1

Surprise continued

It was truly a special run and the hours out exploring flew by.  I was a bit relieved but at great peace when I saw the platform in the mist, signaling I was close to the guesthouse.

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Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

12 thoughts on “The Adventure Run/Hike/Exploration To Remember”

  1. Wow, Amy, that looks like a gorgeous run. I have to hand it to you – I probably would have gotten lost without a trail (or been so worried about getting lost that I wouldn’t have gone far)! You should have Artie take a photo of you running there and send it to Runners World for one of their “rave runs”… if you or he shot it, they might just use it! I’m glad to see you’re seeing and learning a lot on your trip. Your photos are beautiful (I just don’t always comment).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suzanne! Thank goodness I use Strava to track my runs because I check the map occasionally to see where I’ve run and which direction I need to go. That would be so cool to get a photo in Runners World! Thanks for the kind words. 😊

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    1. It was a much needed and rewarding run. The scenery was spectacular. I wish I had had my DSLR camera with me.

      I found out that this was a coastal fort built by the Germans during WWII. They also built a gun battery in 1941 and installed 5 French guns used to prevent transportation of goods into Kongsfjord and prevent the arrival of the enemy into the area. It was amazing to see all this history in person. I’ve been to the remnants in Normandy but this is amazing because it’s truly out in the middle of nowhere.

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  2. Breathtaking! I sure hope your memory bank has unlimited storage. Based upon the first few weeks of your adventure you’ll need all the storage possible. By the way, nice to hear your voice on the video clips. Enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! Thanks Jeff! I’m glad you liked the videos! My brain is so full right now. Thank goodness I’m writing a very very detailed journal each day of what happens. Everything became a blur after the first week, especially with the sleep deprivation and everything changing all the time. 🙂

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  3. I was a little nervous when I saw you peering down that dark stairwell…and relieved that you didn’t go down! Also intrigued by the artwork hanging in the bunker making it seem like a gallery of hope or something…I’m learning more about geography with you than I ever did in a classroom 😉 Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

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