Road trip to Värmland

13 08 2012

Sweden is large compared to most of the other European countries so having the ambition to find a cache in each of the 290 boroughs (kommuner) is a mission that isn’t to be taken lightly. Even finding just one cache in each of the twenty one counties (län) entails long distance travel. I don’t have the intention to do this as quickly as possible but as the occasions arise I will tick off new areas.

Studying the map of Sweden and taking into account where I live (Gävle on the east coast about 200km north of Stockholm) the closest county I could visit and claim a new find is Värmland and we are still talking about a journey of around 280 km to the closest point. That’s basically a four hour drive as there are not a lot of motorways in that part of Sweden!

I spent some hours studying maps and marking boroughs that I had not been caching in earlier and discovered that on the way to Värmland I could tick off a couple of boroughs in Dalarna thus being able to claim a find in every borough of that county. As I would also pass through two new boroughs in the county of Örebro I then got the idea that if I chose a different way back I could tick off a couple more in the county of Örebro, or if I made a “slight”detour I could visit them all. As is often the case things escalate and on the day of the trip I had marked sixteen candidate boroughs to find caches in on my trip.

Road trip with finds in sixteen new boroughs (kommuner) and 1 new county (län).

Luckily I woke early and saw no need to wait before I set off. So after brewing some coffee and fixing sandwiches I set of just after 5:30 on Saturday morning. I arrived home again just before 20:00 after a 770 km long road trip. The route took me through Falun and Borlänge then over to Smedjebacken. I noticed a D2.5/T5 cache was on my way so I just had to stop there to see if I could log it as I have that combination missing in my D/T matrix challenge. I was able to log Röda stugan just after 7:15 and admire the view across the lake.

MY first stop of the day just north of Smedjebacken

From there I continued on to Ludvika, then continued through Grängesberg, Ljusnarsberg, and Hällefors before crossing into Värmland. There I passed through Filipstad and Storfors before arriving at my intended turning point of Kristinehamn.

The new counties I found caches in on the way out were Smedjebacken and Ludvika in Dalarna thus completing the hunt to find caches in all boroughs of that county. In the county of Örebro I found caches in Ljusnarsberg and Hällefors and in Värmland I found caches in Filipstad, Storfors and Kristinehamn. The outward journey was 340 km and it took me 6 hours 15 mins meaning an average speed of 54 kph (34 mph).

My journey home was even longer at 430km and even that was done at about the same speed so taking me just over eight hours. It took me through Karlskoga, Degerfors, Laxå, Lekeberg and Örebro, thus completing the quest to find caches in each of the boroughs in the county of Örebro. Not to rest on that I continued on through Arboga, Kungsör, Köping, and Surahammar to tick off all the boroughs in the county of Västmanland. Phew!

Once I had found the cache in Surahammar’s borough I just had 155 km to drive to get home. Again there are no motorways so it took a further 2:15 for the journey as I only stopped three times to grab caches in the boroughs of Heby, and Gävle. That was just so I could say I had found caches in nineteen boroughs and six counties in a day.

Some GSAK statistics

GSAK statistics want me to claim that it was 20 boroughs but that’s because one is reported to belong to two counties. Another thing is that counties are called states and boroughs are called counties. Just a little confusing.

From sixteen to seventeen counties (län)

From 115 to 131 boroughs (kommuner)

So now I have found caches in all boroughs of five counties, but funnily enough, not the county I live in. I will have to do something about that..

I didn’t have so much time to stop and take photographs but here are some of the places I saw on the trip.

One of the mines at Flogberget. Found an earthcache here.

Double parked! Amazing what you can find in the forest.

The statue “Borraren” in Grängesberg

Klockarbackens viewing platform from 1920. Made from old rails.

Ruins of ironworks in Saxå

Reconstruction of John Ericsson’s submarine “The Monitor” at Filipstad

Giant pothole in the Domedag valley at Degerfors. It’s about 1m across and 3m deep.

Coffee break at the Wolf Burrow boulder

Second generation E18 deserted since the new motorway was opened.

The “new” bridge in Kungsör was not in good shape

Disused 42km cableway for limestone transport between Forsby and Köping




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