Ken's Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey Journal

Milkwater Rafting
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Our scheduled day off turned out chilly and gloomy with some rain sprinkles and gusty winds. Perfect for a day of rafting on a glacier-fed river!

Talk about cold! Well, at least for the first half-hour, after which your extremities don't feel it too much, except for when the wind blasts the spray into your face.

This was the first time I've ever rafted up river... occasional gusts pushed us strongly enough to make that happen.

But we had a great time! Two boats makes for some competition, much splashing of water, and even grappling and throwing people into the river.

Both boats did well through the hard parts of the rapids, only spilling people out when we tried to surf one particular place by heading upstream into it. Most people did get dunked there, but no harm done.

We had some warm soup along the way, which helped a great deal, although by the end fingers were taking on an involuntary curl and the wind had picked up on our flat landing area.

We ran this with Bakkaflot, who did a good job. They gave us wetsuit bottoms and boots, drysuit tops, helmet, and life jackets as well as a thorough safety lecture and paddling lesson.

Our guides and kayak safety accompaniment hailed from Nepal: they're itinerant and go where the tourism season needs them. They splashed people, gave suggestions for how to pull people out of boats, and even encouraged and engaged in horseplay.

Had the day turned sunny and warm the trip would have been idyllic with the deep, rugged, jagged volcanic canyon's lava tubes, columnar basalt, and dikes turning very colorful instead of muted greys and blacks and reds.

Part of our rafting river, skim-milky-white because of glacial sources.

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