Explorer’s Grant IV: Dispatch From Lofoten
This past spring, we partnered with Popular Mechanics to bring you our Explorer’s Grant IV. With a choice amongst four epic trips—including hiking in the Colorado backcountry, building your own surfboard in Maine, and swimming with sharks in Hawaii—you voted for a trip to Norway with Huckberry Ambassador Charles Post and his wife, Rachel Pohl. Lucky winners Christin and Grant recently returned from Lofoten, and Charles is catching us up on their adventure.
When we first laid eyes on Norway’s Lofoten Islands, I looked at my wife and said, “there’s no better place.”
I knew that we’d found our place—the perfect blend of the two of us.
You see, I grew up in Northern California salmon fishing and surfing in the cold waters where bull kelp and gray whales live. I’ve always lived by the sea. I grew up on the water. My life revolved around the tides and wind. But when I met Rachel, a mountain-loving artist born with skis on her feet, I quickly dove headfirst into a life shaped by the wild woods and windswept slopes of Montana.
The minute I saw Lofoten, the remote archipelago and sea of fjords 95 miles above the arctic circle, I knew that we’d found our place—the perfect blend of the two of us.
When Huckberry pitched the Explorer's Grant our way, it took less than a fleeting second to dream up our trip to Norway. We would head back to our favorite little fishing village tucked away in a forgotten fjord on Flakstadøya island, which is located about halfway down the archipelago. From here, at Nusfjord Arctic Resort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we would find ourselves surrounded by peaks, crystal clear lakes, and miles of trails that wind their way deep into the mountains brimming with blueberries and ptarmigan—a stout bird that calls these windswept hills home.
Christin and Grant, the winners the the Explorer’s Grant IV, met us after landing in Svolvaer, a trip that requires a flight from the mainland on a 30-person prop plane that seemingly falls out of the sky to make a safe landing on the small and remote airstrip.
Even with the 30 hours of travel eating away at our energy reserves, we couldn’t just go to sleep
When we all arrived at Nusfjord, I think each one of us had that, “Are you kidding me—this place is real?” moment. Even with the 30 hours of travel eating away at our energy reserves, we couldn’t just go to sleep, so we threw on our hiking gear and headed into the hills beyond the first lake where Nusfjord gets its drinking water. Next, we headed further into one of the most magical valleys I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Huge peaks climbed skyward in a jagged cirque. Whispy clouds flew by with the stiff wind, and blueberries hung heavy beside our ankles as we wound our way through the forest into the sun-kissed hills.
Home was a small, cozy cabin built hundreds of years ago for the fishermen who harvested these seas as their ancestors did for centuries before.
We sailed deep into the fjords with Pukka Travels—who helped us catch our fish for lunch. Home was a small, cozy cabin built hundreds of years ago for the fishermen who harvested these seas as their ancestors did for centuries before. Our day started with a warm breakfast overlooking the harbor. From there, we explored some of the most remote and wild landscapes on Earth. We intentionally arrived after the bustle of summer, just in time for empty trails and cool weather while avoiding the flood of summer tourists.
While the natural landscape called to us every day, we were also reminded of a simple truth: share smiles and gratefulness to the locals and they will return the favor tenfold. With this, we had the opportunity to meet and befriend some of the kindest and warmest souls we’ve ever met—people who are so happy to share their slice of heaven with four strangers from the States. What they shared was a trip of a lifetime, one I know none of us will ever forget.