Photo: Large rock-slide blocks the road to Myrland, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. November 17, 2017. 12:14
Thursday evening sometime between 20:00 and 22:00 nature send a reminder of who is in charge. A friend and come over for a short visit to checkup on a project we are working on, leaving after a couple hours. But soon I heard a knock on my door and she had come back, saying there were some rocks in the road. There had been a large rock in the road earlier in the day, but it had been cleared, so maybe she though it was just the darkness that made it look like more. So we hopped in my van to check things out.
Approaching the scene in the darkness, my headlamps lit up the first initially small boulders – which hadn’t been there when I passed by in the late afternoon, before illuminating large blocks in the distance, completely covering the road. Hmm, no one is getting by that this night…
In the morning I returned to checkout the scene again. It was indeed the largest rockslide I’ve seen since moving here. As information spread, I was interviewed by the news agency NRK, and we began to find out that my little village, of merely a dozen residents, would be cut off for a while – The original estimate of a Saturday opening being extended to Monday.
And so I sit at home, with unexpected guests and glad I generally keep enough food on the shelves for just this type of situation. Saturday I will miss an event I was hoping to attend, but that is life up here…
As a bit of a side note. Despite the fact that there are clearly posted ‘no stopping’ (not just the ‘no parking’) and rockfall signs for this section of the road, many people car/van/motorhome camp along there all summer long. If it is not too late in the evening and I see people out and about, I will often stop and give them a bit of a warning that they might not be in the best place. On any given night it is not likely that something will happen, and it makes me feel like an asshole, possibly interrupting some romantic moment or ruining their perfect camping spot with the midnight sun shining in the north. But I drive this road on an almost daily basis and see what falls from above. It would be nice if people listened the signs, but they don’t. So I’ll probably have to be an asshole next summer as well, telling people that they should move along…
And in fact, along with some friends, I remember telling a van to move which was parked in this exact spot of the avalanche sometime in July. The amount of fresh small rockfall and debris present there should have already indicated that it was a poor camping location. Had they been there this Thursday evening, they would now be buried under tons of rubble.
Nikon 70-200mm f/4