Farms and Frigid Swims: LLC Trip 1!

I was going to post about my half-marathon training (September 9th keeps creeping up on me), but I’ll save that for later this week. That’s because the highlight of my weekend wasn’t my 8-mile run (shocking, I know). There’s no better way to unwind on a weekend morning than spending time in nature. That’s why I was stoked for our first Outdoor Adventure Living and Learning Community (LLC) hike! Our destination: The farm and lakes of the Järvafältets Naturreservat.

Just a 35 minute walk from our dorms, this nature reserve has a running trails, hiking paths, lakes, and a working farm.

Entrance to the reserve, so much to explore!

Our group stopped at the farm first, seeing the pigs, rabbits, cows, and horses. We also got to pet some friendly goats! After getting our fill of cute animals we trekked out to the lakes. Along the way, our instructor told us about “allemansrätt” or the Swedish right to public access. This “freedom to roam” grants all visitors access to public land provided they treat the land with respect and avoid private property. We passed several outdoor fire-pits stocked with wood that would make great campsites (s’mores anyone?).

The lake swim was our main attraction, as the near 60º F water was as warm as it will be for the rest of our semester. I’ve swam in the chilly San Francisco bay and done several Polar Bear Plunges, so I welcomed the chance for a quick dip. Make no mistake- I was cold. But being in the water alongside my LLC friends in the middle of the nature reserve was an incredible experience.

The crew takes on the cold! I’m 2nd from right, smiling away the chills

After our quick plunge we walked back through the woods to the farm. We chowed down on fresh sandwiches from the local cafe and planned our next adventure- Kayaking tomorrow. Our inaugural trip was a wonderful way to explore the local park, and a great start to the weekend.

I’m finally appreciating my uncle’s fascination with wildflowers- These were gorgeous!

Next up: LLC Kayaking, Class trip to Parliament, and half-marathon training (I promise).

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