Two weeks ago, the pearl finally left Kramfors to hit the road. After a few days of nightmares about the squeaking engine and many expensive diagnoses from car mechanics I had little hope staying on budget. As a last attempt to find the cause, I walked over to the mechanic university, neighboring the wood academy and told them about the symptoms. A stone dropped from my chest as I was met by a calm smile and a “She just needs to stretch her legs”.
After some help from the students, a look in the classroom and a few good advice, the bad omen from the car mechanics were gone with the wind. Old diesel engines have a sealing made of filt around the clutches, this seal only works when the engine runs long distance and gets warm. The oil stains under the hood were from were the oil had leaked through the felt, and the squeaking was the sound of the clutches slipping due to the oil leaking in. Therefore, no need to spend 900 EUR changing clutches. Mystery solved – time to head south.
I stayed the night in a nature reserve in Ånge, walking through one of the few birch forest as the sun was rising and then cooking my first real breakfast in the van. By far the best feature this far (close after the solar panels) is my manual coffee grinder. I still have no toilet, I still not have running water but I have a coffe grinder. Little can beat the smell of fresh coffee: DAMN good coffee.
As the night was frosty but comfortable, I looked forward to heading south to greet the spring in Skattungbyn close to Mora. My warm expectations were frozen as I soon found myself stuck in the snow In the middle of no were. Curious and restless after a hours on the road I decided to take a shortcut and visiting the “Helvetesfallet” but I never got to see any waterfall, only to be confronted with the fine line between optimism and nativity. The sudden microclimate resulted in island of snow on the road and alone there was little I could do to get loose, finding fresh bear traces in the snow and rain pouring down It felt like one hell of a anticlimax. With horrible connection, I finally managed to reach a wonderful old friend who drove me to the village: How lucky am I?
During the coming days snow continued to fall and the spring I was hunting for seemed further away than ever. After a few days and help from locals, we managed to reach the van and dig it out. The spring continued to hide throughout the week I visited the village, but I was with dear friends and the pearl was safe. Skattungbyn, blessed with a stunning view over the valley and a year-long course in self-sufficiency and many sprouting communities and projecs. Hosting the “Inspiration festival” each summer. And many, many wagons. Closer to a little cabins then a rubberstamp home, fully equipped to handle the Swedish winter.
The saturday was spent in the organic cooperative, milling flour and admiring the handicraft from locals. Half a barn works as an abundant free shop were you can find anything you need and leave anything you don’t need. Stashed up with some new cassettes for the trip. “Latino swing” and a Icelandic mix tape is now competing with the loud murmur of the good old diesel engine. A week of inspiring workshops, dumpster fiests and sauna nights later and I was off. Next stop on my hunt for spring: Ridgedale.