his horns in the courtyard of the T. estate and gored him

Nature Difficult to Move Networknews2023-11-30 19:00:41 44561 31769

During the ascent of the Hecla I had frequently touched lava,-- sometimes involuntarily, when I fell; sometimes voluntarily, to find a hot or at least a warm place. I was unfortunate enough only to find cold ones. The falling snow was therefore most welcome, and I looked anxiously around to see a place where the subterranean heat would melt it. I should then have hastened thither and found what I sought. But unfortunately the snow remained unmelted every where. I could neither see any clouds of smoke, although I gazed steadily at the mountain for hours, and could from my post survey it far down the sides.

his horns in the courtyard of the T. estate and gored him

As we descended we found the snow melting at a depth of 500 to 600 feet; lower down, the whole mountain smoked, which I thought was the consequence of the returning warmth of the sun, for my thermometer now stood at nine degrees of heat. I have noticed the same circumstance often on unvolcanic mountains. The spots from which the smoke rose were also cold.

his horns in the courtyard of the T. estate and gored him

The smooth jet-black, bright, and dense lava is only found on the mountain itself and in its immediate vicinity. But all lava is not the same: there is jagged, glassy, and porous lava; the former is black, and so is the sand which covers one side of Hecla. The farther the lava and sand are from the mountain, the more they lose this blackness, and their colour plays into iron-colour and even into light-grey; but the lighter-coloured lava generally retains the brightness and smoothness of the black lava.

his horns in the courtyard of the T. estate and gored him

After a troublesome descent, having spent twelve hours on this excursion, we arrived safely at Salsun; and I was on the point of returning to my lodging, somewhat annoyed at the prospect of spending another night in such a hole, when my guide surprised me agreeably by the proposition to return to Struvellir at once. The horses, he said, were sufficiently rested, and I could get a good room there in the priest's house. I soon packed, and in a short time we were again on horseback. The second time I came to the deep Rangaa, I rode across fearlessly, and needed no protection at any side. Such is man: danger only alarms him the first time; when he has safely surmounted it once, he scarcely thinks of it the second time, and wonders how he can have felt any fear.

I saw five little trees standing in a field near the stream. The stems of these, which, considering the scarcity of trees in Iceland, may be called remarkable phenomena, were crooked and knotty, but yet six or seven feet high, and about four or five inches in diameter.

As my guide had foretold, I found a very comfortable room and a good bed in the priest's house. Herr Horfuson is one of the best men I have ever met with. He eagerly sought opportunities for giving me pleasure, and to him I owe several fine minerals and an Icelandic book of the year 1601. May God reward his kindness and benevolence!

We retraced our steps as far as the river Huitha, over which we rowed, and then turned in another direction. Our journey led us through beautiful valleys, many of them producing abundance of grass; but unfortunately so much moss grew among it, that these large plains were not available for pastures, and only afforded comfort to travellers by their aspect of cheerfulness. They were quite dry.

The valley in which Hjalmholm, our resting-place for this night, was situated, is traversed by a stream of lava, which had, however, been modest enough not to fill up the whole valley, but to leave a space for the pretty stream Elvas, and for some fields and hillocks, on which many cottages stood. It was one of the most populous valleys I had seen in Iceland.



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