24 hours on Pluto. from coming over the summit, climbing from Akureyri into the clouds, what a surprise. i had read that around the hotsprings of Laugafell it’s green meadows, but what greeted me was a landscape of rocks and gravel, ground fine by the wind.

the first night i rode a lot further than i wanted, looking for a place to camp out of the wind. there was little shelter to find, everything having been ground down to these dunes. it’s a desert, and in a fog, there are only two directions, up and down. fortunately only one road so no way to get lost.

9km the next day, i made it to the hotsprings at Laugafell. there i had a long talk with the warden, we called the rangers at the next park over and they called some other rangers, called back. finally we figured out, one way is still possible, to get to Askja volcanoe and the new lava flows…it’s a dotted line on the map, and a thinner dashed line on my gps device. these tracks dont have numbers, they have names.

after a soak in the springs (not really hot enough, but nice) i cooked up a big mashed mass of rehydrated camp food yumm, and drank a buncha coffee…and then off. i think i left at 4 and ‘just wanted to knock off some km from the total…’ and eventually got a second wind, or a second set of legs, and pounded out 45km through the evening.

it was a good ride, coming off the high of 940m, down to about 600 or so..more rocks, gravel, big stones, then i got on the Sprengisandur route. that is, the most part, a highway. problem with having such a badass bike, it makes me search for more of a challenge. i camped at the second river ford, where it was indeed a bit more green, thankful after so much Plutoscape.

tomorrow i cross the bridge, and head off into the lava fields. an Israely couple camping here said that the rangers told them my chosen road wasnt passable..but then again, they are driving a mini family car, and i got, well, the badass bike.

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Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 176 user reviews.

one last rest day in Olafsfjördur, the rain has stopped, i am revived, and ready to ride. ‘listen to your body.” Alice said, and listening closely, i find it’s true: the first eleven days’ riding took their toll, and one more day relaxed will be good for me.

i am in no rush, with more than three weeks time, and two weeks’ riding planned…today, i wander. today, i speak my words into the recorder, and catch the cries of gulls, and capture images, along the beach.

curious things i find here, and there.

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Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 152 user reviews.

day ten had me trekking up the mountains, the first actual mountains i’ve ridden here in Iceland. much of the riding has been on technical rocky up and down which felt like climbing all day long, but day ten really was climbing. the first stretch up out of the river bed i had to push pull the bike, then i could ride up up, until i hit the snow. the top crust was melty-kiss and uphill was impossible to ride, note the tire tracks with accompanying footprints, following a horse trail and litttle heaps of dung.

at the top, the emergency shelter was my home for the evening, so nice nice. next morning gorgeous sunshine, but clouds below crept up the mount, and became fog. descending, i could ride the snow, until i had the first total fall of the trip, laughing, ‘plunk! slooooooosh!’ sliding in the snow!

such a gorgeous place, surrounded by rocky outcrops, glaciers as a backdrop, snowbanks and little streams rushing from under the snow…that’s the sketchiest, snow what covers rivers…skidding, sliding on the bike, down down, until i hit the rocks and dirt, and a fast, technical descent.

from the snows, through the clouds, into green pastures, following roaring, rushing streams, gathering to a fullblown river, down into the valley…and i achieved, something special: i became, more of myself, realizing a dream drawn up looking at satellite images. a life on land born of pictures from outer space.

this place, this space, this bike, this ride…all completely Awesome

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next morning coming down out of the clouds

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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 158 user reviews.