I woke up the following morning still trying to process the epic failure from the previous night. Everyone else in the group was also disappointed, but Faith surprisingly took it in stride – you can’t control nature. Thinking that we only have 2 more nights in Tromsø, and one of the nights is taken up by our ice dome stay, I suggested doing another light chasing tour on our last night. However, after seeing the low KP Index forecast, I had doubts and feared a repeat of last night. At the same time, I’d hate to be the one holding the group back. What if the lights did end up showing? Finally after much back and forth, we took a gamble and decided to throw good money after bad.
With that out of the way, we headed off for the Arctic Cathedral.
Back in town, the pursuit of a late lunch ensued.
Five PM – time to board the bus for our 90-minute journey to the Ice Dome.
But before anything else, we were first led on an hour-long snow shoe hike.
Back at the lavvu, a warm meal awaited us.
Dinner was followed by a tour of the ice dome. This year’s ice dome was constructed over a period of 6 weeks (normally completed in 8 weeks, but this year’s snow came late) with the theme revolving around the Norwegian explorer – Roald Amundsen.
Eight ice sculpture artists were commissioned to sculpt murals in the eight hotel rooms.
A 7AM wake-up call, delivered by a towering Norwegian man, sent us scurrying to the central lavvu to freshen up. I was the only one out of the 16 guests who had showered the night before, so all I had to do was to brush my teeth and wash my face.
All guests had an option to do one of 3 activities after breakfast – dog sledding, reindeer sledding, and snow mobiling. Since we had already done the reindeer sledding at the Sami tent, I had signed us up for dog sledding prior to the trip. The last time Joe and I went dog sledding in Alaska, we were both seated with the guide as the musher, so I figured it would be an easy activity for my slightly athletically disinclined friends.
It wasn’t until during briefing when I found out that we would take turns mushing. Not only that, the guide said that the musher would have to run behind the sled during all the uphill sections, in deep snow. As soon as Peggy heard that, she sidled up to me and asked if I was able to do it. Trusting my years of endurance training, I reassured her that it was doable. However, I was worried about the other two. At the end of the briefing, an older couple voluntarily dropped out. But Faith and Munerah stuck with the plan, and they ultimately did well enough to survive the 7-8km journey.