Phone Photos: The Fimmvörðuháls Trail

Do you know how difficult it is to describe Iceland without feeling like a slave to hyperbole and superlatives?  Most breath-taking scenery.  Land of starkest contrasts.  Most changeable weather.  Waterfalls beyond number.  After awhile it begins to sound ridiculous, even though I swear I’m speaking truth.

As proof of my dilemma, I offer the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, a hike which begins at the mighty Skogafoss waterfall and ends fifteen hard miles later in Þorsmörk (Thor’s Valley) after traversing between the Eyjafallajökull and Mýradalsjökull glaciers.  I dare you to view the following photos and not  fall into the same description predicament that I’m struggling with…
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I rest my case.  🙂  (And this trail showcases only a small portion of all the visual delights Iceland has to offer).

A few side notes on this post:

  1. Iceland really is a land of the midnight sun.  We were on the trail ten hours and the last few sun-soaked photos of this post were taken around 10 PM.  The sunshine was a gift from God after all the fog and mist of the snow and lava fields.
  2. I didn’t have the chance to photograph any part of the last few miles of the trail which ends at Basar.  We were rushing to catch the last Highland bus back to our car so I wasn’t allowed to dally to take photos.  It was such a shame, really, and our biggest regret of the hike for two reasons: 1) We had already unknowingly missed the bus by 2 hours and 2) the end of the hike was delightfully Shire-esque with mounds of wild flowers and lush green foliage and even more beautiful views around every bend.  Plus, traversing the Cat’s Spine should have been documented for posterity.
  3. I love my Galaxy S9.   The wider angle of view showed Iceland to the best advantage.  The photos I took with it are some of my favorites of our trip.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny

A few years ago my family had the pleasure of visiting Eleuthera, one of the islands of the Bahamas.  We stayed in a tiny house that overlooked an endless pink sand beach and the gentle edge of the Atlantic Ocean.  Over the course of a week, we discovered many little treasures: lizards, fish, snails, sea shells.  This itty-bitty guy was my favorite…

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{ Hermit crab found at Preacher’s Cave, Eleuthera, Bahamas }

Find many more tiny things here.

Small Pleasures: August Edition

August threw me from the heights of unstructured leisure to the rude awakening of a tightly scheduled existence with barely enough time to catch my breath.  Now, in the middle of September, I realize I never took the time to review the best small pleasures of last month.  They were delightful and deserve the proper amount of recognition and gratitude so I’m posting them without guilt even though summer vacation is long gone.

  1. Stargazing.  Light pollution makes for a very disappointing stargazing experience in my neighborhood.  When we camped in the Adirondacks in early August, I was thrilled to find a visible swath of Milky Way and a glittering mass of stars filling the clear night sky.  My experience was the same as Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman when he sings, “When I look at the stars, I see Someone else, when I look at the stars, I feel like myself.”
  2. Sitting around a campfire on a cool night in the Adirondacks.  This includes hanging with family and making s’mores.  No other explanation needed.
  3. Listening to The Girl With All the Gifts audiobook with my family.  The Girl With All the Gifts is a great book that generated a bit of communal gagging and several stimulating discussions.  There is nothing like vicariously battling zombies to bring a family together.  (Book review can be found here.)
  4. Vistas.  I’m talking about the view from Mount Defiance looking across Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain and the panorama of wilderness from the fire tower on top of Snowy Mountain.  Nothing was much higher than four thousand feet but the views were spectacular and all the more rewarding if effort was required to get my middle-aged, sadly out-of-shape body to the lookout spot (i.e., the 7 mile Snowy Mountain butt-kicking haul).
  5. Kayaking on a perfect summer evening.  Simply sublime…

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