National Geographic : 1984 Sep
On Assignment SELECTING A GIFT for the president of Iceland was difficult for the river runners who had just completed the first journey down the wild Jokulsa a Fjollum-from under glacier source to Arctic Ocean. So they settled on a propeller from one of the ultralight air craft that set this river expedition apart. Here the gift is presented to President Vigdis Finn bogad6ttir by leader Paul Vander-Molen, at her left, and other members of the team. "Pack-away aircraft ensured the expedition's success," Paul says, "acting as our eyes to scout dangerous rapids and enabling us to lift boats and crews over waterfalls." Using ultralights was Vander-Molen's brainchild when he and fellow British kayaker Mick Coyne, near right, decided to plan a trip combining paddling with other skills. They as sembled a multinational team that included expert kayakers, rafters, pilots, Icelandic gla cier guides, and cameramen. FOR FARMER and photographer Steven C. Wilson, a comprehensive survey of the nation's soils proved to be an adventure under ground. During his 40-state coverage for this issue, he took a firsthand look at teeming com munities underfoot. Here, in a hole dug through an ant colony, the sun's reflection from a mirror lights a specimen for his camera mounted microscope. "The real trick," he said, "was to get the picture before the sun fried my samples." A marine biologist and owner of a successful tree farm in Washing ton's Kitsap Peninsula, Wilson has an overrid ing interest in ecology, reflected in previous NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC articles on Texas Gulf Coast wildlife and the Aleutian Islands.