Day 2

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Iceland Adventure

Let me first answer the question: Why Iceland?

My first year of college was at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Totally separate story, but despite how much fun I had, I only lasted one year there.  It turns out that you should attend college for more reasons than just playing soccer. But I digress. I whimsically chose a class in the English department to satisfy the freshman requirements called “Icelandic Saga” taught by Professor Craig Davis.  And lets just say that the class did not leave my brain for the next 26 years. I absolutely loved it! The class was a curious mixture of geneology, world history, religious studies and story telling. I became fascinated with how such a volcanic, harsh and lean environment influenced a religion that contained Giants, Gods, Man, and incredible natural disasters. Years later, I read the Nobel literature winning book, Independent People, by Halldor Laxness. And I was hooked.  I had to see Iceland sometime in my life.

Last year for my birthday, Mark gave me an Icelandic map and two handwritten plane tickets! Letty and Morgan made me a rice krispie cake in the form of the Icelandic flag, and that might have been the best birthday ever.  Mark and I  immediately knew that we wanted to bike parts of the country, because there is no better way to get to know a place than by going about 15 mph, seeing the plants and animals first hand and feeling the weather going with you.  It took Megan and Clint a mere 0.0076ths of a second to say “We are IN!” and the trip was born.

So back to the current saga:

img_2948We left the city and headed north to Thingvellir national park. This is an incredible place for multiple reasons. First of all, you can stand directly between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates! This explains why Iceland is so geothermally and volcanically active. It is being torn apart at the rate of 2.5 cm per year, which is like a breakneck blue streak in earth terms.  We camped in the national park, and quickly got on the bikes for an afternoon ride around the lake. The ride was a total of 70 km, and while the last 10k were a struggle for me (uphill, raining, traffic and hungry) it was a magical ride overall (rolling hills, sun, no traffic and plenty of gummy bears). We all had grins from ear to ear the entire time. Rainbows, sheep, views like we had never seen and fantastic evening light and dinner beckoning us to Kevin at the end. If this is what our first ride was like….. we could barely contain ourselves for the next day.

North America to the left and Europe to the right.
North America to the left and Europe to the right.
Are we lost yet?
Are we lost yet?

 

Sheep were the biggest traffic hazard on this road.
Sheep were the biggest traffic hazard on this road.
What a way to spend your 50th birthday! Happy 50th Clint!
What a way to spend your 50th birthday! Happy 50th Clint!
This was the last 10k push. Thighs burning and why didnt we pack any lunch??
This was the last 10k push. Thighs burning and why didnt we pack any lunch??

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Next post: To the Moon!

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Other posts in this series...

  • Day 9, in which we find Walter Mitty (October 28, 2016)
    Finally, the weather officially turned for the worse and the balmy Icelandic holiday was over. We knew we had experienced the absolutely best of the l
  • Day 8, in which we discover the best campground (October 7, 2016)
    The weather was deteriorating as the week went on, and while it still was not the hurricane force winds that can happen in Iceland, it was clearly not
  • Day 6 of Iceland bike tour (October 1, 2016)
    The next morning we decided that we had to head into town and try to find a Laundromat to de-stink our biking clothes. Living in America, you could ma
  • Day 5 (September 29, 2016)
    Inevitably, when someone learned that I was going to Iceland they would ask, “Are you going to ride the horses?”  And I would emphatically say NO!!! A
  • Day 4 (September 27, 2016)
    We loved the stark landscape with the burrowing sheep so much that we decided to camp there for the night. The F road seemed to be one of the only way
  • Day 3 (September 21, 2016)
    We woke up in Thingvallavatn (I hope that you clicked on the photo of our ride around the lake in the Day 2 blog to see how that is actually written)a
  • Day 2 (September 20, 2016)
    Let me first answer the question: Why Iceland? My first year of college was at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Totally separate story, but despite h
  • Day 1 (September 17, 2016)
    Day 1 Letty dropped us off at SeaTac and we all stood in amazement at the magnitude of the stuff we were bringing. Four bike boxes take up two full ca
  • Iceland Adventure, Day 0 (September 16, 2016)
    And by Day 0, I mean that we better have gotten everything done by now! Don’t forget the passports, who has the tickets? Did you remember to let the a

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