A Winter Wonderland.
And now, here I was, right in the middle of it.
Nature. There are times when it takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. Pinch me.
Snow and it's magical qualities was one of my escapes back then, so when I left Ireland for my first big backpacking adventure in December of 1977 at 16 yrs old, where did I go?. Zermatt, Switzerland of course, another one of my favorite winter places on this planet.
And here I am now, in Lappland, and not surprisingly feeling right at home.
By the time I stopped, and started again, went no more than 2 or 3 km, and then stopped again for more photos, and started again, and then stopped again for about the 20th time and got to the border of Finland it was already 1pm. It only took me 5 hours to travel 155 km (95 miles) and I still had another 300 km (180 + miles) to go. It would be dark by 2:30 and really cold by 4 pm. Not that it wasn't cold already, but I guess physiologically I feel it colder riding in the dark then in daylight, even thought the actual temperature might be the same. I know it does get colder when the sun goes down, but here in northern Finland it's -15 during the day and -20 at night. Not much of a difference once it goes below -10 really, cold is cold.
It was only 83°F at night instead of 92..........bone chilling.
Finland-Norway Border. Dec 2012.
This time though on the way down from Nordkapp and Alta, it was a completely story.
About 75 km south of Alta, Norway the snow started to ease up and everything became a bit more visible. Once I got down to Kautokeino, Norway things were looking really good. The landscape was changing from hilly and treeless to flatter and tree filled, there are generally fewer species of trees in Norway due to ice age migration routes.
Official home of Santa Claus?.
* Denotes clickable links that are actual GPS coordinates from the photo metadata, click it and it will take you to the exact spot the photograph was taken. Opens in Google maps.