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i c e l a n d

i graduated grad school in 2018, held an internsip through the winter, and started a job january 2019. I'd been itchin for another int'l trip since my norway, germany, denmark, and france excursion in 2017. between switchin jobs, lack of vacation days/funds, covid, and just life in general int'l travel was not on the horizon for sometime. Getting that booster shot back in spring '21 put it back on my radar. Kaylie had the itch too and my mere mentioning of iceland set her off on whippin my ass into gettin my ducks in a row to make this trip happen. Before i knew it Krista and alex were on board and basically the duffys planned the whole damn thing haha. it was dope. get yourself a duffy travel planner.

We landed at around 6:45 am. naturally travelling with three sleep deprived wisconsites and myself, we got off the tarmac and scurried into the duty free store to load up on tax free booze. upon trying to check out we were told we went to the departues duty free store and had to go to the arrivals duty free store, which was after customs. as the world works - the line at least doubled by the time we went back out there. i didn't load up my camera for it, but we went straight to blue lagoon after we got our car. props to alex for hangin out in the hertz line for about an hour for us haha.

"monument to the unknown bureacrat"

the ubiquitous corrugated aluminum siding of iceland with a little extra flair.

had a few drinks playing some card games. id say this was the start of my vendetta with krista for bending the rules in our quiz/drawing/charade game. Alex and I convinced krista and kaylie to close down the bar below our apartment.

thingvellir (Þingvellir) national park. The beginning of all the fancy toilets and rest stops.

the boundary between the north american and eurasian tectonic plates.

for whatever reason in my jet lagged brain i decided to pull out and test the ridiculous zoom cannon i picked up before the trip. its moments like this that explains why i am always being scorned for lagging behind.

photo with my 50mm lens from the same spot.

i took 2 photos of waterfalls, got bored and decided to start being the little shit i am by taking photos of all the other nerdy ecotourists taking photos. meta?

there's one i know.

gore-tex bb

came up on this geyser with everyone raising their phones to the sky intently staring at their screens waiting for the moment that geyser would give the damn people the squirt they've been waiting for. am i any better for staring through my viewfinder to capture these people looking like this? probably not, but alex and i had a good laugh at them as we circled back to this earth fountain on our return to the car.

a volcanic crater, a lush version of the ones i found myslef lurking through in idaho.

oh no, the tourist selfie energy transfered itself upon krista an alex.

kaylie trying to combat my angst.

i've heard a lot of thing about icelandic horses and their friggin unqiue gait. fuck the gait, look at their amazing fucking hair! god damn that shit is luscious.

we took a walk before it got dark and krista made friends with the farm kitty. we made pasta and got wasted playing more card games above the barn. i dont think i realized how drunk i was until we had to get up at 6 am to catch the ferry to the westman islands (vestmannaeyjar). cold breakfast pasta helped cure that problem.

the ability to pack the car like this everyday had a sharp decline.

got there.

a demonstration on the acrobatics of bird egg collecting.

the island hosts a music festival in this dish.

listening to short gruesome settler stories in the dark at the turf hus.

a shotty zoom lens photo attempt at an uninhabited island's clubhouse. we were told that different clubs built lodges on the outer islands you can reach by boat. they compete to see who can deck theirs out the most.

I blindly followed to a hike up a cliff.

up we go.

fuck your gorp core, goats dont fuck with gorp core. they just climb this shit to eat grass.

that moss is lookin like velvet.

i dont think ive ever experienced a sense of vertigo or a fear of heights until this thing. you can see how the goats have carved out all these wild tiny ledges they climb and meander on.

i am allowed 1 dorky tourist pic.

me and these goats sized each other up for like 5 min straight. we were at an impasse. i folded and sat my ass down to watch the boats enter the harbor. as i sat, i looked up for a moment to see what progress kaylie, krista and alex made. i saw kaylie and krista on all fours climbin up and watched another random dude slip onto his ass on his descent. thanks for telling me to take a seat goats.

goats who fuck with gorp core.

this rope to ladder mightve been the gnarliest feelin piece. thats the smile of someone that much closer to a beer at the end of a hike.

its wild how this ferry loaded vehicles.

off the island and back at some waterfalls on the main route. felt like i saw at least 20 familiar faces from the golden circle, but i guess we are still within a fairly short drive of reykjavik.

black sands beach.

i got a thing for takin dead birdy photos. the feather contrast is crazy though on this beach.

up at one of the valley walls on the columbia river gorge is the vista house, which is home to the "$100,000 outhouse". at every tourist trap and scenic viewpoint there seemed to be a decked out toilet with what seemed to be iceland's equivalent. little did i know, this would be the last one on the journey. Maybe it was finally a sign we were moving beyond even what iceland knew as the extent of the typical flyover outdoor excursion people take on the way to europe. whatever, i'll gladly take the lack of marble thrones if it means weaving through less selfies.

the meeting of the suzuki jimny's".

it was wild seeing these outlets where you can clearly tell how the ice has just plowed through rock over unfathomable amounts of time.

Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon

i was entralled by all the ridiculous vehicles that have been made to get out to the glacier. if i remember correctly, this was three different car bodies rigged into one frankenstien off roading monster.

slammin down some pizza before we slap those crampons on.

inside the ice cave.

the water was so blue it straight up looked like gatorade cool blue. nature is beautiful.

siggi let us in on how all the meandering goats are handled in iceland. with no natural predators on the island, at the start of spring, people just open their field gates and let the goats slowly depart. as summer comes to an end, neighbors get together and people are assigned quadrants stretching out into the mountains and valleys. they go out and herd goats all back to a communal sheepcote where they get sorted by each farmers marker.

crampons off - ready for beer and lobster in hofn.

a glacier, lobster pasta, and a liter of beer knocked her out by about 7:30 pm.

the unfinished exteriors of hotels was becoming to be a familiar sight haha.

driving along some back roads.


her favorite meal of the trip.

my favorite photo of the trip.

a lil cable stop on the side of the road. no remote found.

dettifoss.the second most powerful waterfall in Europe.frickin midges (gnats like lil bastards) everywhere. we took probably the bumpiest dirt road the last 30-40 min to get here. made the road beer a lil foamy.

found some wild blueberries out at the falls. i kept making kaylie look at the resulting blue bird poo. she wasnt as fascinated as i was.

lake myvatin. also swarmed by midges. we did catch a glimpse of the northern lights just beyond the low laying clouds the night before at our hotel.

we met a special boy.

all the animals got the best hair out here.

bye bye.

i can smell the sulfur from this photo.

the architecture of this geothermal plant was real martian like.

we got our $40 worth of krista driving i suppose.

the whale watching competition.

a lil pod o' porpoise.

it quickly became a herd of boats chasing down what little glimpses of marine mammals there were in the harbor. felt a bit weird. i can only imagine what a frenzy this place is in june during the peak season.

back in the rear seat surviving off road beers and beef jerky.

we went to a concert in akureyri our second to last night. after dancin around a drinking some beers, alex was determined to keep the night going. however little did we know the city shutdown promptly at 11 with covid. we kept on alex's heels as he frantically ran up to each bar lookin for a night cap only to be shooed away by every bartender he encountered. defeated, we all meandered back to our apartment to drink what little booze we had left after a week on the road playing drinking games everynight. as we poured the last of our alcohol, alex caught a glimpse of our neighbors having a drink on the shared patio. in depseration for any sort of intoxicated socializing, he inserted himself into the conversation. they kindly let a bunch of americans crash their evening and filled our cups with icelandic rum. from what i can remember, the guy was a builder for ice wear, which owned the apartments we were staying in. he let us in on a bunch drama/gossip and small world of being a contractor in iceland. he knew all the guys behind our stays at hotels with unfinished structures. cheers to you random stranger. you made alex's night.

the next morning, head throbbing at 9:15 am, we found out the only covid testing site in town closed for the day at 10:00 am, which we needed to exit the country the next day. we also had to check out by 11:00 am. we all some how managed to get our asses over there. although krista damn near left alex on the toilet. nothing like staring at a church hungover after getting your brain tickled via your nose....

found a sheepcote!

seals chillin.

last hours were spent at the lebowski. we let alex be the one to order the white russian... i might add that i had the best Tom Yum soup up the street the night before. till next time iceland.

c r a w d a d c o l l e c t i v e