All you probably know about Vikings is…

Image result for how to train your dragon images

…which was a darn good set of films and TV shows. (My cat and my van both look just like Toothless)(the cat is actually somewhat toothless due to some dental issues).

All I know about Vikings is…

and there’s me chasing Sae Hrafn…

hah hah, Vikings vs kayaks, kayaks win…

I have also sailed, rowed and steered this and the Longship company’s other boat (6…day….voyage…. on the Potomac River…).

Polynesians on the other side of the world, Vikings on this side, the greatest explorers in human history. Especially the Norwegians…

Then we had names like Roald Amundsen…

16 July 1872 – c. 18 June 1928) was a Norwegianexplorer of polar regions. He led the Antarcticexpedition of 1910–12 which was the first to reach the South Pole, on 14 December 1911. In 1926, he was the first expedition leader for the air expedition to the North Pole. Amundsen is recognized as the first person, without dispute, as having reached both poles.[2][3] He is also known as having the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903–06) in the Arctic.

Leonhard Seppala and Gunnar Kaasen of the 1925 Serum Run to Nome. Kaasen and his lead dog Balto became famous as they were the team who brought the serum into Nome. Seppala and Togo did the longest, hardest, most dangerous part of the trail. Today’s Siberians in America mostly trace back to Seppala’s serum run dogs and Togo.

Then there are people like….

Liv Ragnheim Arnesen (born June 1, 1953) is a Norwegian educator, cross-country skier, adventurer, guide, and motivational speaker. Arnesen led the first unsupported women’s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap in 1992. In 1994, she made international headlines becoming the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South pole.[1] – a 50-day expedition of 745 miles (1,200 km).

This other, rather more obscure Balto…

Samuel Johannesen Balto (May 5, 1861 – 1921) was a NorwegianSami explorer and adventurer. Balto skied with Fridtjof Nansen across Greenland in 1888-9.

If you paid any attention in Frozen you know who the Sami are…

Image result for frozen kristoff sven images

Let’s just say it seems the Norwegians have spent some time adapting to the frozen north, and are pretty good at continuing to explore it.

This year’s Iditarod contains an inordinate number of Norwegians.

Gier began mushing by ski-joring behind a German Shepherd…he dances and builds log cabins. That’s competitive Norwegian Folk Dancing.

Ketil has finished the five longest sled dog races in the world.

Lars worked as a teacher before he decided to dedicate his energies to adventure and writing.  He’s written 18 books and has been on many expeditions.

Dag Torluf Olsen from Hammerfest, Norway has been running dogs since 1993. Hammerfest… I have no idea if that relates to the Mighty Hammer of Thor, but he’s definitely hammered it here. Whoot! Just finishing Iditarod is a mighty feat.

To top it off, Norwegian Tore Albrigtsen came into Nome at 0205 on St. Patrick’s Day with everyone wearing green beads and derbys…

Oh come on, didn’t someone have a horned helmet or two????

Then there is this guy…

Robert Walter Sørlie (born 15 February 1958), commonly “Sorlie” in English, is a two-time Iditarod champion Norwegiandog musher and dog sled racer from Hurdal. Together with Kjetil Backen and his nephew, Bjørnar Andersen, he forms “Team Norway“, the most well-known Norwegian dog mushing team. In 2003, he became the only non-American after Martin Buser to win the 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska, U.S. He won it again in 2005.

And this, from 2006, where it seems the Norwegians have begun kicking total butt in the North American race…

The 1,000-mile Iditarod sled dog race is the quintessential Alaska institution. But for the past four years, Norwegians have been dominating the race. Alaskan mushers are being forced to adjust their strategies, and are even rethinking long-held notions about training and dog breeding. Gabriel Spitzer of the Alaska Public Radio Network reports.

Then there’s the cutest thing on the trail…

Joar Leifseth-Ulsom,  (29) holds the record as the fastest rookie to have ever run the Iditarod, and is one of only two mushers to place top-7 four times in just four Iditarod starts.

No rookie this year, he has come in 4th…

if that sounds less than amazing let me ‘splain something…

There are 72 mushers, (not counting the 12 withdrawn) and 1000 miles of the wildest, coldest, weirdest trail.

Finishing at all is fabulous.

Finishing in the top ten is awesome.

Four gets you a nice purse and says something about your skill and dedication. And the greatness of your dogs.

The descendants of Vikings are still exploring, expeditioning, and keeping alive ancient skills, whether sailing or mushing or dancing, that adds to the diversity of skills the whole human race needs to not just survive but to thrive.

Image result for thor laughing images

Thor approves.

PS: Vikings did not actually have horned helmets, it would have been inconvenient in battle…



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