ICELAND III

9/22/2021  

Armed with a pre-planned itinerary that laid out a 7-day loop around Iceland with overnight stays at farmhouses, Justin Jost drove away from Reykjavik to the north on a limited system of rural roads. Scraping the western shores of an island, whose land mass is similar in size to Kentucky, this place is truly unique. Situated on 2 continental plates that are separating, this volcanically active blob defies description. With the vast majority of residents situated on the Atlantic Ocean waters, they take advantage of the Gulf Stream to capture heat on a latitude that missed the boat on warmth. Going in and out of the crotches, where peninsulas look like pseudopods on a giant amoeba, this island has its fair share of fishing villages to ensure a steady supply of Icelandic cod. Willing to risk their hearty lives in the squalls of hell, these net nuts supply the western world with wild fish for dinner. The coastline is steep, and beaches are rare, making this no place to flaunt designer swimwear. As Justin moved in and out towns, the interior was mildly mountainous, and the grasses were littered with sheep and goats. People were nowhere to be seen. As the landscape decayed from the higher interior to the sea level coasts, an interesting phenomenon occurred. The long summer sun was melting some older glacier ice and due to compression, air was squeezed out. This creates ice and its melted waters to reflect sunlight in the azure to baby blue range. These rivers making their way through black basalt canyons make for a super Kodak moment. As the day lingered on, it was time to find one’s room for the night. Given the spelling of the hosting family’s name, it was now a detective’s game to find your farm. Lacking GPS and a knowledge of the language, you had to memorize the first 6 letters of the name and look at the signposts at each road fork. Five letters weren’t enough as letter patterns repeated often. Much time was required to hone in on Justin’s final destination.

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