March 19, 2015
Today I went dog sledding, one of the optional activities that Travel Quest set up for the tour group. About 30 of us went by bus to Green Dog, a sledding company outside of Longyearbyen. It was slightly crazy but a very wild ride. The dogs pull a sled with a passenger and a driver. I paired up with Jim Owen, who is also in the Spitsbergen Hotel. I ‘drove’ first, which consists of standing on the back of the sled, always holding on and braking when you go too fast. We had 6 dogs pulling us and there were about 15 sleds in all weaving our way through a magnificent valley.
The sun was bright and actually warm, though I think it was 5-7 degrees this morning. The light right now seems to be great all the time, all day, probably because the sun doesn’t rise much over the horizon. So it’s perpetually almost sundown or sunrise, the perfect time of day see the landscape. I’ll post another snowy picture, hope this doesn’t bore anyone. The slight variations in the white snow are amazing to look at.
While shooting some feature pictures for Agence France-Presse (AFP), the people I used to work for full time, I came across this humorous advertisement. Longyearbyen is the northernmost permanent settlement, so everything here is the most northern. Now off to more aurora viewing, hope it will be clear tonight. Then the eclipse tomorrow!