“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” — first hike, 7/15

July 17th, 2009

Tom 7.15.09

After visiting the geo-thermal plant, we continued toward Skaftafell National Park, but took what was supposed to be a short stop to satisfy European Mareike’s obsession with outdoor bathing (with suit). Our short detour turned into a 3-hour, fly-infested hike to sulfurous Shangri-la. We were headed for bathing pools that were heated by geo-thermal vents, recommended by Meagen Pollock. The fata morgana that drew us into this adventure into the wild was the steaming fumeroles that appeared after every turn or hill on the trail. We stopped numerous times to question the sanity of our quest, but each time concluded that the pools were just around the bend. With some minor casualties along the way – Dale got excessively wet fording one stream DSC00540– we reached the confluence of two streams, one extremely hot and the other extremely cold, which created warm bathing pools. Mareike was able to soak for a few minutes in the deep pools, and the rest of us soaked our feet, upstream from Mareike. DSC00545 On the way to and from these pools, we crossed the mid-Atlantic rift IMG_0184, saw several wild sheep, DSC00534 numerous bubbling pools of black, smelly stuff that Mark Wilson can help identify. DSC00537 DSC00541 100_1098 DSC00538 DSC00543 DSC00547 IMG_0197

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