Day 7: July 13, 2007 Námasfjall Hverir and Krafla

Trip Start Jul 08, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 7: July 13, 2007 Námasfjall Hverir and Krafla
I slept well but not like the previous night. After breakfast, we loaded up and headed over to Namasfjall Hverir under overcast skies. The geothermal field was as active as ever. We toured it in a clockwise direction before climbing the mid-ocean ridge on the trail by the road. Although it was slippery in places it is a much easier climb than the trail to the south of the area. The low clouds and drizzle dampened our view and enjoyment of the site. Magnus met us at the road and we drove into Krafla Caldera, passing the geothermal power plant. The wind and rain at the Viti shortened our visit. The lighting did not show the spectacular colors I've seen there in the past.
We drove to the Leirhnjükar parking lot and ate lunch on the bus to keep out of the weather. The rain stopped while we ate so we started to hike after we ate. Even in the fog the place is amazing. We walked through the geothermal areas and started the southward trail through the spatter cones. One of the cones had an amazing mini lava tube whose drainage formed a pahoehoe stairway. The flow was frozen in the bottom of the tube and hot gas was escaping. We got pictures of Motley's head poking through a crack in another tube.
At the south end of the trail where marvelous tensional cracks leave little doubt of the tectonic stresses in the area, I climbed a steep hill to get a better view. On the way up, I slipped and jammed my middle finger into the slope. It looked really dislocated, but didn't hurt. Magnus thinks it is broken but I think it is just sprained at the distal joint.
Everyone returned to the bus. It was cloudy and cool, and a little windy. We drove back to camp. Kathy, Rain, and I went down to the hotel bar for a $9 beer and good conversation. Then we did some very expensive food shopping, getting shrimp for the evening's burritos.
Rain and I were standing outside the cook tent when Sigfus, the campground owner, came up and spoke with us. It was good to see him again. We made plans to go look at volcanoes the next evening.
A bunch of us returned to the bar to hear a show called "The Story of Farming" performed by two women playing a synthesizer and a saxophone. It was an ethereal but forgettable experience. Motley, Rain, and I sampled Magnus' snuff-a first for all of us. It was probably the last for me.
We drove back to the campground around 11:15. The twilight was strong enough to warrant a nightcap before going to bed.
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