Weird And Glorious Terrain

Looking back from the little pedestrian trail, as I manhandle my bike along it once again.

Sometimes I get the impression that sheep are activelty searching for the most remote patch of grass, even when they're surrounded by perfectly good grass near home.

Pretty sure this is the last actual bridge the road will provide me with for the next 50 miles.

Who wants ice cream?

Aaah, the open road! I really should have come here with better tires...

Enjoying the day.

Ugh, more loose sand.

Some motorcyclists waiting for their group to catch up.
Little pictures in little boxes can't really convey how refreshing it is to be surrounded by this.
An unwelcome amout of sand on the road, but the surroundings more than make up for it.
My view as I ate breakfast.
So many rocks, slowly drifting down the hillside...
Fields of flowers, interesting mountains, good weather, and no one for miles.
It's a long, rough way up.
Stopping for a snack and pee break, because why not.

It's like a massive, sparkly piece of naan bread.

Oh look, Timmy has spilled his soda water on the polyester carpet! Except... THE CARPET IS ALIVE.
You think it's ice, don't you? Or some kind of resin or sap? Nope! It's ordinary rainwater, floating on top of a blanket of thick moss due to surface tension.
Sometimes the water sinks in, sometimes it doesn't.
A spider patrols the surface of this strange mossy world.
When I saw this, I had to stop. It just looked so bizarre.
Water drops large and small ride atop this surface.
Once the drops grow beyond a certain size they start to vibrate in the constant wind.

I didn't try drinking one, but I was tempted.

Valoria, ready for more travel.

It was within easy walking distance of the bike, so I strolled over.

Nice sno-cone material, except for the grit.


The first of many river fjordings.

Crossing number 2. Same deal as the first crossing.

Successfully shoved the bike across. Good thing I have waterproof bags along the bottom.

This fellow did a U-turn in the river, since it was the widest part of the road. He's probably towed a hundred broken cars down from these roads over the years.
Up there somewhere is a cute little lake, according to the map.
Okay, the bags are across, now for the bike...
Now those are some dark hills.
Looking back down at the road.
I am amused by these river crossings!
Another shot of those black hills.
And over the hill... More hills. And more river crossings.
Winding my way down to crossing number 3. Too minor to be listed on the official map.
Not looking forward to all that sand.
Just the worst for traction. Good thing I was already walking the bike.
Fortunately it's not very deep.
That was relatively easy! Didn't even need to remove the lower bags.
The sand is always a nuisance.

I don't recall seeing hills this dark anywhere else. The lack of vegetation contributes to it.

Mmmm lunch! More sardines!

This is a good day.

Time for a break by this vibrant little stream.

Lots of tiny fungi saying hello on the bank of the stream.

Straight down from the side of the mountain on my left.

Ice cold. Time for a drink!

Even with the river crossings, this chunk of the route is actually easier than the chunk leading down into Landmannalaugar from the north.
Approaching another river crossing.
Had to take the lower bags off again for this one.
A pair of cyclists going the other way. We traded tips about the terrain ahead.
I was tempted to try blazing right across it while still on the bike. Glad I didn't.
The black hills probably melt snow quickly in the sun.
Wet, but too full of rocks and well compressed by truck tires to be mud.
Another hour, another crossing!
You can see how the puddle grows as cars range farther up and downstream from it, aiming for the shallower edges.
I think this is crossing number ... Ten? Eleven? Do the minor ones count?
This was one of three crossings in a row, as the river zig-zagged over the road.
I took another drink here. It was just so tasty looking...

A strange hunk of rock, worn down from years of flooding.

As I got closer it looked more and more bizarre.

I suspect this fell down from the hillside above, years ago, and then the debris around it got washed away.

Dang, this hill went up a long way...
Another roadside snack stop.
Strange terrain at the top of this hill.
Still not the last fjord!
Pleased to be up here!
Looking back from a long, careful climb.
Things have names out here?
Such an interesting texture. Like the plates on a turtle.
I'm not sure what this marker is for. It was driven into the ground about ten feet from the edge of the road.
So much green!
Such lovely colors...
One of the larger fjords, but it had a narrow span suitable for my bike.
Pausing halfway across for a photo.
It's not deep, but the tires tend to sink into the rocks.
Snacking and pedaling!
The last valley before the big downhill.

These rocks are here as a polite reminder that people shouldn't go joyriding away from the road.

The last fjord -- in the highlands at least.

My constant companion.


Ugh, this hill was steep.
It's not a rock... It's some kind of article of clothing, smashed into the road.
I do believe I'm looking at a mangled pair of shorts.
The reward for that climb: An incredible panorama.
Hundreds of square miles of wandering river, in one view.

Deep channels eroded into the hills from meltwater streams.

Partway down, leaning on the brakes. A fall onto this at speed would be brutal.

A landscape of fuzzy lumps. Not a tree or even a bush in sight.

Look at that cute little bridge! Awww!
This river did not have an easy way for a bike to cross, and it looked deeper than all the others.
Taking the bridge option.
It really was a cute bridge.
Someone got so wired on their French-press coffee that they took off and forgot the French-press.
Lovely land lumps.
Spooky lumps!
The evening sheep are aglow!
Look at that fluffy halo!
A flat road cutting through a very bumpy landscape.
A tiny wedge of sundog next to an old contrail.

I tihnk these ruts are from groups of horses and cattle being run up and down the road.

At first I thought those parallel ruts were made by animals. Then I realized that they were previous versions of the road.

People drove their trucks over the hill in the same ruts, year after year, until the ruts got plowed too deep and began scraping the underside of the vehicle. Then they started driving up a fresh patch of ground on one side. Do that for twenty or thirty years on a fragile landscape … and now we all get to look at the results for about a century.

Ah, finally at my stopping place for the night!

I always like signs with lots of symbols. Plenty of services to choose from.

The fire escape ladder is somewhat lacking.

An interior that houses 20 people, and only two of us sleeping there.

No need for a tent tonight!

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