An Icelandic Adventure: The Ring Road’s Not-So-Secret Treasures

Cramped Up Iceland seljalandsfoss stairs 3
Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and the Road There
Now sometimes you have to go to great lengths and distances to be able to find what you are looking for, be it solitude, beauty, immensity, challenge, adventure, etc… Sometimes, it’s right under your nose, right off the road and you knew it, or you didn’t.  These places, these things, sometimes they are crowded by throngs of tourists, but sometimes, sometimes they are yours and yours alone for that moment.
Iceland is gaining ground in the tourism industry, just about every person we ran into before and after was going, had been, or knew someone who was going or had been; this doesn’t detract from an adventure.  Folks say that if it’s crowded, it isn’t worth it or at the very least imply this, we ourselves have done so and it is a constant struggle to not be negative in this way.  Yes, Iceland is busy, there are loads of people around most corners, but it doesn’t take away from the validity of beauty, immensity, challenge, adventure of these sights; they are popular for good reason.
Many things we saw on our trip were right off the ring road, Iceland’s main drag that loops around the island, and they were all gorgeous.  Waterfalls more powerful than you can dream, so strong and rushing down so fast that you can feel their immensity in the blast of mist that hits your face as you approach.  They are surrounded by lush green whose contrast illuminates just how impressive and otherworldly they are.
To every gorgeous waterfall though, there are everyday sites right off the road where, if you pull over, get out, and take a look; you can find the same impressive beauty, the same history, the same country.  So yes, in the end, some places are busy and some places are unknown and under-appreciated, a huge amount right off the road, but they’re all worth your time even if you need to say “excuse me” to get through (or “pardon me” for trespassing).

Cramped Up Iceland seljalandsfoss 1

Cramped Up Iceland Farm church

Cramped Up Iceland Ring Road

Cramped Up Iceland seljalandsfoss 2

Cramped Up Iceland seljalandsfoss 4

Cramped Up Iceland Ring Road 2

Cramped Up Iceland Farm Buoy

Cramped Up Iceland Farm turf building 2

Cramped Up Iceland Farm pasture

Cramped Up Iceland Skogafoss

Cramped Up Iceland Skogafoss rainbow green

Cramped Up Iceland Skogafoss 2

Cramped Up Iceland Skogafoss rainbow

Cramped Up Iceland Ring Road Farm Turf Roof

Cramped Up Iceland Ring Road Farm
Photos in this post taken on Canon Rebel SL1

A Warm Winter’s Hike

Just A Day, Trips


Winter. It can mean different things to different people. It represents the end of a year, a time to hibernate indoors, and a chance for the plants and animals to take a rest before the cycle starts a-new. It means unimaginable cold temperatures in most of the country, where you don’t dare go outside unless you absolutely must. In these places in January, you know you’re only half-way through this season, and you’ll have to wait until April, or even May, before you’re hanging around in a t-shirt again.
In California, winter is just a New England’s Autumn day, yet it’s cold feeling when you’re used to temperate weather all year round. But every year since we moved to this great state we are granted a few weeks of real warmth and sunshine right smack in the middle of January. It’s like clockwork, and maybe it didn’t used to be like this, and maybe global warming is to thank, but we appreciate the thaw and the chance to enjoy some beautiful places that are usually bitter cold (by California standards) this time of year.
Hike to Upper Yosemite Falls – Yosemite National Park – 7.2 miles round trip
This is North America’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 ft.








All photos shot with 35mm film on a Canon AE-1.