The January 2021 edition of Viking featured member David Ellingson’s kayak adventures through the fjords of Norway. The self-described “water spirit” tackled epic mileage while receiving help from “fjord angels,” communing with the spirits of his ancestors, and learning some life lessons along the way.

In Ellingson’s video Coming Home, he recalls times on his family’s Iowa farmstead, highlighting his increasingly daring paddle trips. Eventually he considered his great-grandparents’ courageous emigration and decided he had to take his own leap of faith and experience the Old Country—by kayak. Follow Ellingson and his fellow paddlers, nicknamed the Spirit of Norway, as they recount the highs and lows of their time on the Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord.

thumbnail of video, showing the front of a canoe in the waters of a fjord

For more photo galleries and videos of David Ellingson’s adventures, visit