Driving Under Dark Skies

Thursday, Sep 26

Today was a driving day.  We drove for 8.5 hours from Hammerfest to a little village on the shores of a fjord near Lavangen.  We left Hammerfest a day early because the weather there was going to be rainy and cold all day, again, and there wasn’t really anything else we wanted to do there.  Jeff headed home a day early, so that left Rob and I free to set off toward the Lofoton Islands and hopefully see some Northern Lights, if we could get away from all these clouds.  We had done about ⅔ of the drive on the same road in the other direction on our way up, so it wasn’t really any new scenery. The intervening days had been warmer with a lot of rain, so those beautiful snow-capped mountains were now just snow dusted.  That meant that all the little streams coming down out of the mountains were no longer peaceful little rivulets, but raging streams coursing forcefully downward.

We spotted a trio of moose along the road, on 2 different occasions.  Unfortunately, my phone software was updated a couple days ago, and now I’m having trouble taking pictures of things that are moving.  The pictures turned out horribly (very frustrating – I was pretty cranky for a long time).

We managed to drive out of the heavy, thick clouds (and occasional sprinkles) by the final hour of our journey.  The sun was low in the sky, so a bit frustrating for driving, but so very nice to see the sun again. The fall colors are really starting to pop, but with the heavy thick clouds they really won’t photograph well.  Maybe tomorrow I can get some nice shots of the colors. We have a great view from our cabin across the fjord. The sunset tonight over the mountains beyond was full of orange and just a couple of puffy clouds like tiny bursts of fireworks.  Despite the (finally) clear night, we still didn’t see any Northern Lights. They are just too weak tonight. Our best hope is tomorrow night, when the sky should still be mostly clear and the KP index (indicator of how strong the Aurora Borealis will be) is a little bit higher.

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