80 – Return

Two horses from our pack lagged behind with one of the leaders who brought up the back.  When I turned to check on them, I saw one rear up in the stream and both galloped towards the farm.  Our front lead told us to dismount and hold our horses by the reigns, then she galloped off to help retrieve them.  The brothers of one of the runaway riders is standing here, waiting for his brother’s return.


77 – Solar Storms

I was having dinner with a friend tonight when I got a call from Gummi (of Gateway to Iceland Tours). The previous evening, we spent several hours in freezing wind looking for the northern lights.  The company guarantees if you don’t see them the first time you’ll have a second shot at it.  With driving snow storms all day, I didn’t think they were going.  Turns out that yes, they were and he was at my door to pick me up.  When I considered staying at dinner he said this was the strongest they’ve had in 5 years.  Alright.  He allowed me a 1/2 hour while he picked others up.  Glad I came.  It was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.  Glowing greens and some reds spread across the sky, all over the sky in different forms, moving, shape shifting and firing bright.  My Cannon 5 D MKII was taking too much time to process the 30 second shots so I shot a bunch with my Canon Powershot S95 and this is one of them.

76 – Land of Independant People

After reading Independent People –  an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, I could see so much of the story’s surroundings in our ride this morning (8 March).  They were just as I pictured them.  The Halldór Laxness museum is not far away.
It was wonderful to get out into the countryside and ride one these beautiful, gentle horses.  The people at the Laxness Farm are very nice.

72 – Westman Island’s Heimaey Harbor View from Crater

This is a view from the crater of the unexpected 1973 volcano that destroyed many homes and farmland in the town of Heimaey on the largest and most only populated of the Westman Islands.

At about 01:55 on 23 January, a fissure opened up on the eastern side of the island, barely a kilometre away from the centre of the town of Heimaey, approximately 200 metres (650 ft) east of Kirkjubær (Church farm), where the island’s church had once been located.

The fissure rapidly extended from 300 metres to a length of 2 kilometres (1.2 mi), crossing the island from one shore to the other. Submarine activity also occurred just offshore at the northern and southern ends of the fissure. Spectacular lava fountaining 50 to 150 metres high occurred along the whole fissure,[2] which reached a maximum length of about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) during the first few hours of the eruption, but activity soon became concentrated on one vent, about 0.8-kilometre (0.50 mi) north of the old volcanic cone of Helgafell and just outside the eastern edge of the town.