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Old 06-28-2009, 04:50 AM   #31
norton750
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Location: The Tarantula Mine near hwy 108 & 49 N.California
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Happy Trails!

I'm virtually along for the ride. Thanks, in advance, for sharing your most excellent Icelandic adventure with us. I can't wait to see it from your perspective. Also looking forward to hearing your impressions of the Honda.

Happy Trails!

Jeff from Jamestown.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:46 AM   #32
Fargo_Wolf
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All I can say is: Update frequently please. Looks like it'll be an awesome trip.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:53 AM   #33
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Okay, so I am so in and very excited! As I told you this morning. I can't wait for your first post while on the road. Thanx so much for letting me go along for the ride, I will be unable to keep down my breakfast!

Stacey
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:56 PM   #34
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Safe Arrival and We're Off and Riding

Well everyone,

We arrived safe and sound with at around 11:45 PM local to very thick fog and drizzle. We went through an additional security screening, through passport control and then customs. By the time all was said and done. We were met outside the door by our friend Haddi at about 12:30 who through the goodness of his own heart, picked us up, dropped our tires off at his shop and gave us a ride to his house where we slept the rest of the morning away in bliss.

Then it was back to his shop with prepped bikes ready to go. What more could anyone ask for. Great weather? We didn't get it, but we only got minimally wet with grey skies for the day. But we have to tell you, the scenery is amazing and the people are wonderful. I am compressing and uploading pictures as I type, so we hope to have the first of this ride report for you tonight.

Till later!

Oh and BTW Hash Slinger... Don't shoot!


Mike and Kim
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #35
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OK, time to start this gig for real!

Finally the day arrived. We can't tell you how much we were anticipating this trip. Let's just say that a 5th grader who has been let down the past two X-mas' on the X-Box 360 Rock Band World Tour game anticipation... Geddit?

So with bags packed and the TKCs at the ready...





Oh, I didn't tell you I was bringing my own TKCs... Seems they're fresh out in Iceland and I'm too much of a wuss to ride without them so I'm bringing my own. Lucky for me, they made it to Iceland with no problems and there were no import duties or any such nonsense.

Then it was off to Logan Airport in Boston for the flight where we had the usual...



But I must say, the Icelandic Airlines folks really made the line move and we were up to the podium in no time. Excellent!!!!

We got through security with no issues and headed to the restaurant/bar for a quick lunch to await our flight. No sense in boring ourselves waiting now is there?

No sooner can we say set' em up barkeep than...



Hey... They didn't put in an umbrella. I hate it when that happens.

That one sure went down easy and we might have had another when this big old furry galoot, stuck his watch in my face (err, that might have been me) and said; we need to get going our flight will be boarding soon.



I hate it when that happens.

We got on the plane and I think we got the only row that was not full as well as a view of the Icleandic Air Logo. I think its actually very nice.



Gives you the feeling of a soft flowing breeze.

That was the good news. The unfortunate news was that Satan's very own two best and youngest spawn and their Keepers were in the rows behind us.

First all the video monitors went blank and turned to snow...



Then the hell began... non stop yelling and screeming... kicking of the seat backs... all the while their Keepers did nothing or egged them on. It was hell in a cigar tube less the sulphurous stench. Luckily for us, the spawn were in the opposite row except for the time that they were with their male keeper.

But this hapless creature, this poor man, must truly have been an evil human being with a huge payback, for he was forced to sit with them directly behind him for most of the flight.




He tried eye covers, he tried earplugs, (notice they aren't music ear buds but real honest to goodness ear plugs) to block out the horror to no avail, while the female keeper of the spawn looked on in glee. Notice the man behind the female keeper most likely reading scripture trying to ward off evil spirits. Sorry about the poor pic quality but I dared not attract attention and I took this photo over my shoulder on the sly.

But even after all that, we arrived safe and sound at Keflavik.



As I stated earlier, by the time we cleared everything at the airport it was pretty late, but Haddi really took care of us. He picked us up at the airport in his own vehicle and we made a quick stop at his shop to drop off the TKCs and have Kim try out the Yamaha XT660.




At this point, let me just say a couple of words about Haddi. Haddi personally made this trip possible. I had been working with another motorcycle rental agency in Iceland and long story short, they did not come through. I thought our chance for a trip to Iceland was over. Haddi had seen my plight in the vendor section and PM'd me. He told me he had bikes available (he has 13 of them) and even though it was fairly late in the season, he really took care of Kim and I. There aren't many rental companies that will rent to you late in the season, pick you up after 12:00 midnight, put you up at their own house, put on your own tires and send you on your way. So THANKS HADDI. Oh, and BTW, should any of you want to come here and check out Iceland yourself, Haddi's company can be found at www.ridingiceland.is. Nuff said.

The following morning we arrived at Haddi's shop and the TKCs were already mounted and ready to go. All that was left to do was to pack the bikes and mount Spot and the Zumo. They went on in a snap, but the Zumo is pretty much a waste of time. The Garmin tech rep at Garmin told me that the Europe software had low level detail like major roads. However, it actually has no roads and it looks like we did a bit of driving in the ocean today according to Zumo. So if you are thinking of coming here, save your cash if you are investing in Europe software just for Iceland. We hope to use it some other time, but it will have to wait for now. It's just sort of an expesive compass speedometer for the time being.

Anyway, two more things needed to be mounted. Mr. Cotton and Mr. Cotton's Parrot. If you were paying attention during a particular movie series, you know who they are. Neither say much but are good company.



Oh and sorry about the spot tracks today. It looks like the OK messages only got through today. I think the batteries are dying. I'll change them out tonight and you should get 10 minute tracking tomorrow.

Ultimately, we were able to clear Reyjkavik and headed towards Olafsvik. One of our first major signs we saw this...



So do we go around the fjiord or take the tunnel and save some time. Duh.... save some time. What a moron I am some times. We take the tunnel. We pop out uneventfully and head up Route 1. By this time Kim's getting hungry and spots this Cafe...



We stop and have a snack/lunch and the young woman asks us where we were coming from and ultimately if we came via the fjiord or the tunnel since the fjiord is so beautiful. Doh! So lunch finished, we turn around and head back the way we came. But it was worth it.

It was very hazy and overcast, but it was beautiful and it just got better. Here's a first look...





and it kept getting better...





Then we started seeing these guys everywhere. And I do mean everywhere...







Check out the guys behind Kim's bike. These guys were pretty far away. Some times you have to be careful that they don't run across the road in front of you.


2touringtheworld screwed with this post 11-03-2009 at 06:20 AM
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:59 PM   #36
G B
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Welcome to Iceland.
Looking forward to read about you trip.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:18 PM   #37
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Wrap up day 1

Well folks, it's past midnight so I'm going to wrap this up for the night soon. I'm not sure when the next connectivity is, but I'll post as soon as I can. So here goes...

We made our way back through the fjiord and it just got more and more beautiful. Sheer rock walls, some with natural caves surrounded us, all the while, the ocean beaconed to us always at our side, one way or the other...
















It was time to take our leave of our first fjiord and head towards Olafsvik. So again we headed back towards whence we came. Along the way, we found another tiny town which Mr. Cotton's parrot really liked. At least he said so since Mr. Cotton couldn't say anything.





A very beautiful sight. It was just after this picture was taken that it began to rain slightly. A light drizzle, just enough to mess up your visor and your vision. It also began to get dark and it was time to take off the sunglasses and get ready for rain. So as soon as it was safe to do so, we pulled off the road a a very small "turnoff" and looked to our right and saw this...





I probably would never have seen it had we not stopped. What wonderful luck!

Back on the road, the rain picked up and we hit our first dirt roads of the day and some significant construction. There were some sections with asteroid size chunks of gravel that had Kim's attention, but she came through with flying colors!!!!


Ultimately, we made it into Olafsvik, a fishing town...



where we are staying at the Hotel Olafsvik and we had this wonderful dinner...





And for you tonight, we give you this toast to end the day...



Until the next time!!!!

2touringtheworld screwed with this post 06-29-2009 at 05:33 PM
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:26 PM   #38
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The scenery looks stunningly beautiful. You guys are off to a good start. Keep 'em coming.

How are the bikes working? Weight, power, handling?
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:45 PM   #39
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The bikes

Skip,

It's a little early but so far so good. Kim really likes the XT. She says it feels "more substantial than her DR". Part of the gravel section through the construction today was a bit gnarly for her but she did not drop it and she came through with flying colors.

The Trans Alp seems a bit softer than the KTMs I'm used to but I thought it would be. It's still very early so after I ride it more, I'll be able to give you a better idea of what I think.

Mike
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:46 PM   #40
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Day 2, Seasons 3

Today was a great day. We had three out of four seasons in one day. Cold, rain, dense fog, sunshine, warmth, and downright hot and muggy. Nonetheless, it was a great day with over eight hours of riding time. Hence, my ride report for today willl be a bit short and I'll catch up next time I have connectivity.

The riding itself was spectactular, with 50/50 pavement/dirt. The dirt/gravel sections for the most part are very, very well maintained. But we did have some fun on some sections as we climbed some mountainous roads rounding the fjiords that were just a tiny bit more than one lane wide with very large drop offs and no guard rails. We also hit one section with a 16 degree grade with several switch backs. The Stelvio pass has nothing on Iceland and this is dirt!

So enough of the lead in and on with the pics....

We left Olafsvik in fog and drizzle but the sun was trying to poke through. We got a couple of pics of the Olasvik Community Hall and some of the ships in the harbor before we left.





See I told you it was foggy...



Hey, who left that there?

Then we were off.

About an hour out of Olafsvik, we found this coming out of the mist...





It's hard to tell from the pics, but this is a volcanic lava field. A little later, I'll show yhu a field up close and personal without the fog. But it was an beautiful and eerie sight, popping out of the fog the way it did. It looked just like a garden of rock.

As we rode on, there were many, many beautiful fjiords.





As the haze and clouds began to lift the colors began to pop. It was beginning to get better and better.

Kim decided this view called for a stop and a snack...





To make things even better, while we snacked, the weather started to look up!



Even Mr. Cotton and Mr. Cotton's Parrot approved!



Snack over and weather clearing, we continued on towards the day's destination, Lautrabjarg. About an hour down the road we came upon this:



This was just outside the town of:



The sign did not mention why the shark was important, but it was pretty cool. Also very cool was the volcanic rock garden just beside it. Here are some clear pics minus the fog...











Well folks, I said I would call it an early night and I'm going to call it quits now. I'm only about 1/3 the way through the day but it's already midnight. Oh, a second apology about the Spot tracking. It did send message tracking all day, but I failed to initialize it on the link I gave you, so here's a link of the tracks so far.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...pPDBsMWPC5DYc4

Tomorrow's link should work for sure!!!!!

Till Later!!!

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Old 06-30-2009, 10:25 PM   #41
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Nice Job! I'll be back.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #42
NikonVT
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Fabulous - another NHite along for the ride. Goodl uck
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:53 AM   #43
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Back on line and still in awe!

This place is awesome! It's a dual sport paradise, but don't tell anyone because we don't want anyone else to know our own little secret do we? Mountain roads both paved and dirt. Switchbacks that make the Stelvio pass look boring; and its on dirt!!! Ocean all around. You name it the Western Fjiords have it. The western fjiords are just that unbelievable. I hooked up the helmet cam for the first time today and if I can get it to download, you are going to be amazed. Not just for the scenery, but for the road that takes you there. It may have to wait until I return though.

Anyway, I'm two and a half days behind on this RR, so I'm going to push the button and start anew. Ready?
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:08 PM   #44
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Iceland-The Land of Fiords

Well were waiting. Where are you? Up in Hvammur?
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:33 PM   #45
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Ooops... Dinner delay, but game on!

Skip, we are in Saudarkrokur. Spot didn't pick up our last hit of the day. We're at Hotel Tindasol with some special treatment. More on that later. Stand by!

Mike
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