The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Urban Farm, Part 1: Lumberjack in Town

My friends Rob and Megan are incredibly brave. They bought an old tractor, a piece of undeveloped land and an old house next to it, and started a farm in Baltimore City. Since I am a big fan of this project I thought I'll do a few blogs through out this year to cover the work going on there. This Marther Luther King weekend me and Trevor went out to help Rob cut down trees that they need to build a fens around their field. They hope it will keep the local whitetail deer population (the city is crawling with them believe it or not) from eating their crop including a substantial investment in garlic. We took on the challenge lumberjack style with a fury of chainsaw action, log lifting and some cross bow shooting to top it off... A good reminder that for all the physical exercise I have put myself through lately it is but a speck of what it takes to work a day as a farmer. 
We need a horse!
I am quite certain that my Grandpa Torgny, looking down from his cloud, would be less impressed that I had to spend the rest of the weekend resting from my half day of "real work".  Half a century ago they spend their winter days working the forest with a two-man saw, axes and horses. Those where the days! I salvaged some images from a digitally converted super 8 film my Grandpa did 1952-1955 showing some images from the work they did. Thanks for reminding me how it should be done grandpa 
The way things were done 65 years ago (Grandpa bought his first chainsaw around 1955)
A good days work back in the day. Gnestad Gård, Sweden, 1952
We ended the day on the farm with some good old archery...
The last week winter has returned to town, its been snowing quite a bit and it is cold and beautiful. The real perk is that everything shuts down here, schools, work you name it (so far I have not yet had the pleasure to skip work or school due to a snowstorm in Sweden) so this week I had two good days working form home, with the occasional mountain bike or trail running playtime in the snow. It is nice with a proper winter here for a change

Celebrating Lauras birthday with a hike in the Catactin mountains.
There was supposed to be more people joining but they were smart enough to stay home
in the windy and numbing cold conditions (all except the Swedish couple...)
Best spot for my bike to dry off from riding in the snow. We just got 15 cm of fresh snow!

Magic cold and dry snow filling the air
I found out running with barefoot shoes was, as I expected, a great idea in the dry powder snow.
Perfect grip and your feet stay nice and ventilated. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

A snowy road-trip into 2014

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Me and Anna decided to celebrate the holidays with a road trip up north and culture ourselves with a "true" US Christmas celebration this year. Though not going home to friends and family was tough it felt like a good thing to travel locally for a change. After a cold and unusually snowy fall we suddenly got extremely warm weather, 23 deg C (about 70 deg F), in Baltimore a few days before Christmas. It was hot! Our fine and anatomically correct snow-woman melted in a matter of hours and the winter holidays came off to a wobbly start. As an antidote we packed Subban III full with winter gear and joined the sloooow christmas traffic on the jam packed highway towards New York
The first thing that met us when we  finally arrived at Andrews parents house in Massachusetts was a Kayak with Christmas lights and a flyfishing rod. Needless to say I already felt like home. Andrews mum is a fanatic (a compliment in my book) fly fishing woman and adventurer so we had lots to talk about. She also gave me one of the best gifts ever, a home made flyfishing necklace, pure brilliance!
Christines special edition flyfishing necklace. Brilliant.
We even had our own socks, and Santa found US
Donald Duck and friends, about 8 million Swedes watch this show on Christmas eve, and so did we
There are a few things that are key for a Swedish Christmas and I think we managed pretty well though we were far away: 
1. Glögg. With help of Mums Spice mix, lots of rum, wine and sugar we could check this crucial drink off the list (over and over again)
2. Donald Duck and his friends. Thanks to VPN and internet we could stream this incredibly important event live from Sweden. Thanks to the Marsh family for putting up with an hour of swedish dubbed cartoons with us.
3. Lots of food, drinks and family. Check! Two things that US and Swedish celebrations have in common... 
The classical family photo
We kept driving north to our winter destination in Vermont. Destination might be a bit of an exaggeration. We stayed in an old refurbished barn on the Vermont countryside about 40 minutes away from the commercial ski hills. We had found the place through airbnb.com and for a total of 70$/night including breakfast (and the occasional dinner) we lived like kings in Williams pimped up barn. First time for us with AirBnB, but it worked out really well. Airbnb.com helps people rent part of their own homes as bed and breakfast which makes it more personal and a lot cheaper then anything else available. I think it works well in Europe to, so make sure to check this out next time you are traveling. 

Our AirBnB Castle,  Vermont
Sugerbush Ski-resort
Excited powder day lineup
Occupation when not skiing... Anna was less excited when I filled the last space in the car with this beast

Not unlike Sweden

After 4 relaxing days in Vermont with lots of good food, reading and skiing we drove to New York to celebrate New Years with Alex and Karen. First time for me driving in New York, and I had been picturing nightmare scenes of getting through traffic and finding parking. Surprisingly it went extremely smooth, we hit Manhattan in no time and found a free parking spot on the street just a few blocks from our destination.
Last sunset of 2013, Manhattan
00 00 01 2014! Very small apartment with lots of people, Williamsburg
When we recovered from the celebrations we narrowly escaped the "snowstorm" and got back to Baltimore in time for the winter party. It was incredibly beautiful until it all melted away a few days later. Though not quite the armageddon that was pictured in Swedish media...

Anna and Jay in our local park in Baltimore after the snowstorm. Quite the day 

Finally (if you have been struggling to get through my increasingly long but sparse blogposts...) I've got all the pieces figured out and have now started bow hunting! The first time I climbed a tree in the blistering cold there was nothing but deer tracks, but this past Thursday me and Mat where "teleworking" in the early morning (read 5 am) and before I almost fell out of the tree stand because I had an emergency (read had to pee really badly) I had about 5 deer very close to me, just outside range on the wrong side of the property limits. Puh. Next time they will not be so lucky..! 
Happy 2014 to ya'll!