Just imagine: your commute to your office includes a one hour drive, followed by a six kilometer hike with a 600 meter elevation increase. Two hours of consecutive hiking, if you follow a decent pace. And then your office day still has to start. And after 8 hours you still have to head back.
Heavy? No doubt, but imagine now that this would be the view from your office:
Then it does not matter anymore how long the hike, how high the climb, how hard the work, this view is worth it all.
This was exactly what we got on the last day of our second 10-day-fieldtrip to Northern Scandinavia this summer. We had had some disappointments along the way: closed road barriers, whole valleys shut down due to a broken truck on the only access road, hours of rain… All of these disappointments added up to us having to include a pretty hard day at the very end of our trip.
Luckily, weather was (finally truly) on our side that day, offering us a morning with the brightest, nicest, sunniest Arctic summer weather one could imagine. If that doesn’t make your day, nothing will.
With morning unfolding around you, slowly hiking up towards and above the treeline, and seeiing the beauty of the northernmost Norwegian mountains unfold around you; it is those things that make you fall in love with the mountain ecology everyday.
As soon as we reached the top, we spend the rest of our day monitoring plants up there, overlooking fjord Rombaken and the wild mountains surrounding it.
I have to apologise to you now: this story is not building up to any kind of punchline. Even worse, you might have read the best of it already; it just serves as an opportunity to share the beauty of our workspace with you. After this, the story will only go down again. As we did. Down the road to the valley in the evening, following the setting sun and admiring the changing colors.
It was definitely a day to remember, this last day of our 2017 field campaign in the north, thanks to the mountains and weather playing together to set up an incredible show. Probably just to make sure I’ll be back next summer.