Norway - Day 3
As I started out today, I did so with minimal expectations. The weather forecast was not looking good, rain all day, and just as bad as rain wind. Rain plus wind means no cameras and no drones. Knowing this I decided I would do a hike to the hidden beach, Kvalvika Beach, a popular beach to hike to but doesn’t get a ton of people because of the nature of the hike. If you are going to travel halfway across the world, you have to prepared that weather is going to get in the way and your plans need to be flexible. Even though the conditions were poor, I would rather get some good exercise climb and climb a mountain or two rather than sit in the cabin and feel about not capturing anything.
As I got to the trailhead, I prepped for a 3-hour hike in the rain, weatherproofed my backpack which had a camera and the smaller magic 2 drone in it, just in case. The trail was muddy, slippery, and not enjoyable. Some points were just bog, foot deep mud, and sometimes the opportunity to jump rock to rock to save you from the thicker sections. Thankfully at some of the worst spots, there were some 2x4’s placed to make the space more navigable. As I approached the top of the ridge to begin the descent down the slippery slope, I could hear the wind whipping up just over my head as it is funneled between the two mountains on my right and left. The descent down the ridge was rockier, large boulders that you needed to jump one to the other, on a summer day this wouldn’t be too difficult, but on rainy wet days like today, it made each jump an unknown. Some rocks had tread to them which made sticking the landing more manageable, and others felt like they had an oil slick on them. I would like to tell you that I made it down with no troubles because of all my hiking experience, but the truth is a fell hard a few times, at least I was saved embarrassment with no being on the trail to witness my epic wipeouts.
I waited on a ledge hoping to find a weather break to get some quick video shots and maybe even a quick drone flight, and my patience paid off. There was a strong headwind coming in off the ocean, and as it began to clear and I could see out to the open water more rain coming I realized I had about a 10-minute window. Quickly setting up the camera I was able to grab 5-6 quick shots with the GH5 and then set up the Mavic 2. I was about 5 minutes into my drone flight when I noticed on the drone monitor rain starting to hit the lens. This was my queue to get the drone back to me as soon as possible. Despite having only 10 minutes of no rain and slow down in the wind I was able to get some shots that I was really excited about. As the fresh batch of rain and wind began to hit me, I started back to the trailhead. I had got some terrific shots despite the lack of time, and it always feels good to finish an excellent hike.
On my way back down to the car I was debating what to do for the afternoon. If the weather was to be poor, there was no sense driving around all afternoon, especially seeing as I was covered in mud from the knees down and mostly wet head to toe. However, by the time I got back to the car, around 1pm, the sun began to break through the clouds. Even though it was 1pm the sun this time of the year in the Arctic never gets high in the sky, so it was looking more like an awesome sunset back home in the late summer. I have learned through many years of filming that when the weather is good never pass up the opportunity to capture what you came for, there is never a guarantee that tomorrows weather will be as good as it is now. Despite being wet and cold, I pushed further south to Reine. Along the way, I quickly threw up the drone for some epic aerials shots, did a time-lapse or two then continued on with my gaping around every turn. I kept traveling as far as the road would let me to the town Å. As I got to Å, I began to run out of light. The sun had finally gone behind some clouds coming in off the Arctic Ocean and was about to set. As I started the hour and a half drive back to my cabin and thought to myself, if this day were all I got here, I would be happy. The fantastic scenery, the low expectations to begin the day, and the final hours of the afternoon being brilliant had made it a tremendous day. I was able to capture some awe-inspiring scenes that I know will be used by thousands of churches.