For technical reasons (WiFi connections few and far between, tethering slow as molasses in January) the Olav’s Way Liveblog did not feature very many photos despite the fact that many that were taken. This post will help fill that gap in our coverage by giving you, the gentle reader, a better idea of what it was like to walk through the Norwegian countryside. Well, at least what it was like for me to walk through Norway. With the youngest of our group setting the pace, it didn’t take much camera fiddling before I was bringing up the rear. Accordingly, what you see is the perspective of the laggard. As one of the fellowship commented in response to the photos I shared with the group: “So this is what you were doing back there.”
I found the walk and my efforts to capture it to be cathartic. Despite earning the dubious distinction of having the biggest and heaviest pack this year (Jordan was unfortunately not around to defend his title from last year), I arrived in Trondheim positively refreshed. It would be melodramatic to claim that traveling Olav’s Way changed my life, but it and the one we undertook last year have certainly enriched my devotional praxis, strengthened relationships with co-travelers and even had minor salutary effects on my physical well being.
I suspect a pilgrimage would do something similar for you too. If “religious tolerance, the cultivation of ‘holy envy’ in the world’s great religious places, and the appreciation, in good company, of God’s beautiful earth” sound intriguing, consider joining the Mormon Society of St. James for notices of walks, meetings and visits local to wherever its members may be, in addition to the annual pilgrimage. Speaking of which, next year we plan to track Thomas Becket’s traces to Canterbury.
In the meantime, I invite you to join the Fellowship of Olav’s Way on its journey to Nidaros: