How do you get trolls to the top of a mountain? You build a giant ladder.


Trollstigen - "The troll ladder"

Have you seen this road before? I bet a lot of you have. It's surely one of the more photographed roads in the world.

It's name is Trollstigen, which directly translated means the troll ladder. Aptly named, given that trolls are everywhere in Norway. Like these rocks, for example. Those are clearly more than just rocks, wouldn't you say?

Think those power lines through the forest are for transmitting electricity? Think again. The main purpose is to keep the trolls fenced in.

Just watch the movie the movie Trollhunter if you don't believe me.

Anyways, this ladder for the trolls is quite a spaghetti on the map:


Not so sure about this...

Mom is afraid of heights and "scary" mountain roads.

I knew this before we left on the trip of course, but you can't really avoid it in Norwegian fjord country, and you simply must visit the fjords when you come here, or else you'll leave Norway thinking it is just some boring, expensive country with not much to do or see.

Anyways, mom gathered up her courage and bravely went forward with me.

She really was being brave to conquer her doubts. The weather certainly wasn't helping either - rain and clouds so low that you couldn't see more than a few meters ahead as we navigated the heights of Trollstigen. But I was really proud of how she handled it! Especially when an encounter with an oncoming camper van forced us to reverse up the road, with the passenger seat right along the edge of the road. Sorry mom!

You can get a feel for this foggy freefall in the video I put together:

Tragedy strikes

When we finally arrived at the bottom, I saw a perfect opportunity to capture a beautiful shot with my new drone. I launched it and was planning just a quick run up over the Trollfossen waterfall cascading down the mountainside.

Unbeknownst to me, however, our location in the valley and the inclement weather prevented Lil' Sparky from achieving a solid GPS fix. This put the drone into a limited flying mode where it could apparently not rise higher than 100 ft.

What happened next still haunts me almost a full three years later.

The drone inexplicably took a nose dive as it slowly rotated itself to the left, nearly striking the bank on one side of the waterfall. The sensor seemed to detect the proximity to the ground, as it suddenly stopped and reversed directly backwards...right into the bank on the other side.

I immediately lost signal, and any hope for recovering it went with it, given the inaccessible location.

I felt horrible. Lil' Sparky was still a fresh, young drone, barely a couple flight hours into his promising young life. But in the blink of an eye, he was cut down before he could even reach his prime.

The feeling only worsened when I uncovered the flight record stored into my mobile phone that I was steering with. I went through the 57-second clip time after time, and could still not come up with any answers for why the drone behaved the way it did - a lot of it's movements were counter to what I was pressing on the controls.

I filed a complaint with the manufacturer, but of course they concluded it was my fault because the drone didn't have a solid GPS lock. I will never accept this to be the truth, but what can I do? I'm in a pretty powerless position unfortunately.

So I'll just have to push on without the OG Lil' Sparky, but I promise, I won't let this stop me! In fact, his little brother Lil Sparky II is still alive and kicking!

That wraps up my 6-part video and story series from the road trip. The only thing left is the grand finale video with the best clips from the entire trip. That to come in my next post!