Sweden Part Two: Nate’s Journey

To hell with that timeline, I was so scatter-brained by a week in the Arctic Circle that I had lost all sense of reality. Anyway, we got a couple more days of crappy weather in Riksgransen. Ingemar and Peter ditched us in opts of going to Terje and Daniel’s Arctic Challenge: An event Whitey and I would have been all too happy to attend, but for one reason or the other, we weren’t invited. Perhaps Terje was still mad at American’s for not making the finals at the U.S. Open, or maybe we are just nerds. Regardless, they missed out on a sick step-up to train station that fifty years prior was passed under by hordes of Nazi bastards in World War II. Jacob Soderqvist and Crawford detonated that shit like in the movie The Bridge Over The River Kwai with an arsenal of nose presses and what not. We had been beating a dead horse in Riksgransen long enough and decided to go to Norway for a day.

Instead of driving to Narvik just for booze, we went to the ski hill first and got beer afterwards. The resort there is sick, both with the terrain and view that overlooks a huge fjord. We got hooked up by the manager of the mountain, Kjetil, who shook his head when we told him of the conditions in Riksgransen and we pretty much felt like idiots for not going there five days earlier. We hiked for a half-hour to the top of the mountain and waited for a break in the clouds. And then we waited some more, before dropping in to a huge bowl with four inches of powder on top of broiler plate ice. Jacob and Crawford mashed a cornice and a cliff and I was reminded once again why I work in a cubicle as I indoed off of the cornice after Crawford’s drop. We continued down the bowl, doing hockey-stop turns and high fiving each other at how good it was, but Whitey was over it. Towards the bottom of the run, we weaved in and out of Blair Witch style trees for a good mile. At times I thought we had lost Whitey, but then I would hear him cursing at the God almighty, and I knew he was probably just tangled in some trees. Finally, we rode down onto a residential street where Crawford tried to hit on a Norwegian walking her dog. She was over it and so were we.

The next day we left Riksgransen for good. At the airport in Kiruna, we said goodbye to Crawford¿he was heading back to the states. Perhaps the cloudy weather and all the ladies he had hooked it up with had been too much for the freckled face lad.

A short flight later, Whitey and I arrived in Stockholm for a night of nothingness. Our high expectations for the city were shattered by the fact that the women were not the least bit impressed with our sense of fashion or our blatant expression of Americanism. But we still tried, going out to several bars before calling it an early night at three a.m.

Hooked up with David Edmonds of We distribution the following day and drove three hours in our rented Volkswagen Jetta Wagon to Jacob’s home town resort. David had rented a car too, but it was coming up pretty short with its three-cylinder engine and enough passenger room for a small dog and a bowl of peanuts. But he still managed to squish in Allian and We riders Marten Gaimer and Olle Hellquist, since they don’t grow kids very big in Sweden. Four hours later, we passed the town of Falun where Jacob grew up and ten minutes later arrived at Bjursas Ski Center.

The resort was closed to all, except for our crew, and after a ball-breaking T-bar ride up the hill, we dropped into the park that Ola Eriksson and Jacob had spent the previous day building. There were spray painted jumps and hips, half a halfpipe, as well as a few jibs. At the bottom of the run were three kegs, a BBQ, and a booming stereo system. Now this was snowboarding.

While the shreds went to work for Whitey, I pounded a few mellows, roasted some wieners, and listened to some good beats. The snow was slushy and dirty, but everyone was pretty much mashing. By the time everyone got done shredding, my stomach hurt and I couldn’t really walk.

That night we went to a few bars in Furlon, Jacob’s hometown, which was once a prosperous mining town, but is now known for its porn stars. I didn’t meet any at the bar. Instead, Olle introduced me to two Swedish Satanists he had met. They clearly weren’t interested in the seventeen-year-old, or a wholesome man such as myself.

Woke up to rain, so it was back to Stockholm. The following days were filled with mayhem courtesy of the dudes at We distribution. Highlights of the festivities were Gregor Haglin pulling $50,000 U.S. out of his coat pocket at the dinner table; Pontius¿the biggest asshole I have ever seen; and Auntie, Whitey, and myself going to see our friend Jonas DJ at a disco.

The first time I went to Stokholm, Jonas was all into hip hop and had a super hot girlfriend. But this time, the club he was at was called the Rainbow Room.

At first we thought maybe the rainbow stood for something else in Sweden, but after getting stared at like fresh pieces of meat the entire night, we figured out it stood for the same thing as it does in the states. Damn! It was time to get the hell out of Sweden.