Guðríðr Þorbjarnardóttir is thought to be one of the most widely traveled women of the medieval Viking period. Refused permission by her father to marry the son of a slave, she married a sailor who was soon lost at sea. She then married Þorstein, the son of Eirik the Red. When Þorstein’s died after a voyage from Greenland to Vinland, Guðríðr married an Icelandic merchant named Þorfinnr Karlsefni. Together they attempted to establish a colony in Vinland. The expedition ended after three years, but not before Guðríðr gave birth to the first European child born in the New World, Snorri. When Þorfinnr died after they returned to Greenland, Guðríðr and Snorri eventually returned to Iceland to the sprawling fertile Skagafjordur and a farm at Glaumbær.
I reached Glaumbær this morning, after a drive of some 100 km from Akureyri, where the ICASS VII banquet was held last night. The conference is over, but it was a terrific opportunity to see old colleagues and meet potential new ones. The key now is to follow up the conference with a paper for Polar Journal, and proposals for funding for the ASAT Project. But before all that, I am off now to try and see the farm of Eirik the Red himself, which is directly over the ridge I am looking at now. I can’t drive over the ridge without a four-wheel drive machine, so I will drive south on Route 1 until I can intersect with Route 60 north toward Haukadalur.