The Paddler ezine Issue 50 Autumn/Fall 2019 - Page 48

ThePADDLER 48 wood, stone & fire Words and photos: Mal Grey It was the end of our first day in Glaskogen, on our first canoe trip to Scandinavia. We’d paddled the length of Stora Gla, a far bigger expanse of water than any of us had paddled before, and we were now camped on a perfect little island amongst the promontories of pine and heather clad scoured rock at the eastern end of the lake. Now, whilst Louise and Mark sat by the fire in camp, I was sat on a warm rock gazing out over an expanse of liquid rose gold, entranced. Across the water, in the last light of day, a lone canoe glided between distant islands. The strongest memory, though, isn’t only of this utterly gorgeous view, but of the total silence that came with it. I’ve sat and listened to the sound of nothing before, in the Highlands of Scotland, but never has that lack of sound been so heavy, so remarkable. And that has what has drawn me back several times again.