Tuesday, Oct 15
Perhaps the 4 female elk we saw last night should have clued me in to the night’s follies, but I went to bed blissfully unaware that my night would be full of disruptions. During the night, a male elk (or maybe more than 1 at certain times) bellowed and bellowed. I looked it up this morning, it’s referred to as a bugle. “It starts with a low-pitched growl that rises to a high-pitched scream.” According to Christian Monson’s June 5, 2019 article on Target Crazy. To me, it sounded a lot like uneven snoring, with just a bit too much time in between each snore. In fact, I spent much of the night thinking it might be Ginger snoring, while Ginger thought that it was Rob snoring. I think this particular elk is just doing the low-pitched growl and not the rising scream. This morning while I was eating breakfast, I spotted him in the growing light outside the kitchen window. I managed to step outside and watch him for a few moments. A female came along and they walked quietly out of sight up the hill. But, as I continued typing up my journal, I noticed at least 2 more females head up the hill. There may have been more, since I wasn’t sitting facing the window and the light outside was very low. It has grown quiet since the first female and male headed up the hill, so I guess perhaps his desires have been fulfilled.
We spent the day today driving around Lustafjorden (another fjord). Our first destination was a little town called Marifjora. Rob had seen lots of pictures and buzz online about this town. But, when we got there, it was just a cafe that was closed, a couple of closed outdoor gear rental places, some houses, and a standoffish cat. We spent all of 10 minutes there. Then it was on around the northern tip of the fjord. At a village called Guapne we got out and explored their tiny mall. As we drove out of town, we passed a pen with 3 sheep inside. Just as we drove by them, the brown one stood up and head-butted one of the white ones. We thought about turning around to see if they would do it again, but then spotted a place we could park, a bridge across the river and a path on the other side. So, we got out, took the path along the river, took lots of photos of the lovely yellow birch trees, and finally made our way over to the sheep. Rob was keen to try to feed them, so along the way, he collected a very nice tuft of grass and a mushroom to feed to the sheep. They were not interested in eating from his hands, but as soon as he dropped the grass tuft on the ground they gobbled it right up. We watched for a while longer, hoping they would do another head-butt. I realized they were all male sheep, so I guess that explains the aggressive behavior. They spent some time rubbing their rumps against some trees. One of them sort of mooed at us. And then finally, the brown one head butted the white one again.
A little further along, we stopped at Bakeri Lustrabui, a bakery in another little village. It seemed to be a hopping place for such a small town, a few locals came in while we were there. Rob had the best cinnamon roll he’s had in Norway. I had a very nice apple muffin, and Ginger had a rather dry raisin scone. Then it was back in the car to finish our circle around the fjord. As we entered the road that would take us back to the south, there was a big orange construction sign, in Norwegian, of course. As best we could make out, there was some road ahead that was closed near the town of Sorheim. Or maybe there might be delays of up to 3 hours. We weren’t quite sure how to interpret the sign, so decided to just go for it. Well, it turns out the road was really only 1 lane all the way. There was a crew out working on it, and it probably should have been closed, but as we approached, the crew were taking a break, so one of the guys waved us through. We were just able to squeeze past their digger and continue on our way. This was very good, since there is only one road along this side of the fjord; we would have had to drive 2 hours back the way we came if we couldn’t get through this way. It also meant that there were no other cars on the road – smooth sailing on a narrow road. We ran out of time to hike to the waterfall and to stop and see an old church. We needed to take a ferry back, and it turns out this particular ferry only runs 5 times a day. We’ll try to go back for the waterfall and church later this week.