Prelude to a Trip..
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About six months ago, my friend and 4x4 buddy Steve Garcia (aka Spert, Spertierra) asked if I'd like to join him on a trip to Iceland. Having seen and heard of some of his other adventures, I immediately answered with an enthusiastic "HELL YEAH!"
From there we started discussing some general plans.. Who else we would want to join us, what we want to do while we are there, what vehicle rentals will be available. Things of that nature. We decided that we would like to have between six and eight others join us on our adventure which would give us three or four trucks in our 4x4 group. The Icelandic terrain is rough and very desolate. Having more than one vehicle is not a want, it is a necessity and possibly a matter of life and death. When off roading, the old axiom "there's safety in numbers" definitely rings true.
Our general plan is pretty simple. We will off road and camp two or three days then find a hotel so we can all sleep in a comfortable bed and shower. While in town we can see some touristy sights as well as seek out where the locals like to hang out and get a feel for how people live. After a day or two of comfort, it will be back to the trail we go for a few more days of camping and wheeling. Rinse and repeat.
Next on the list was talking to the few people we want to join us. Spert had a couple people in mind that I've never met, including his brother and a guy living in Louisiana. We also wanted to invite a few mutual friends; Joshua (aka Josh, Jeshua or Jesh), Rick (aka Rico or Rico Verde), Luke (aka Radrod - see also the Radrod and Kokopeli Canadian Adventure) and Piper (aka Piper.) Josh was immediately interested as was Rico. Piper, not so much, but when his wife Trish heard us talking about it, she wanted in. Luke wasn't able to commit, but if he's up to the trip, I'm sure he will make it. Since then, Rico had to back out and since we haven't heard anything from Trish, I'm assuming she has as well. Josh is still planning on going (he's 95% sure he will be able to afford it) and Luke is as he was. I'm not too sure about Steve's friends, but I think his brother will likely go.
Skip ahead to late October. Some unforeseen family issues pop up and try to keep me from the trip. In all fairness to Steve and the others, I let them know that I may have to back out. Josh is still not 100% either and there's has been no word from Rico so sometime in mid November Spert sends out a text announcing that he purchased his tickets for the trip and filled us in on his itinerary. Boy did that light a fire under my ass! It was time to shit or get off the pot. A few weeks later, Steve and I was talking on the phone and I made a commitment to not only go on the trip, I would have my ticket purchased by the end of December. On December 18th, I made good on my promise and booked my flights to and from the Land of Fire and Ice. The first obstacle has been skirted!
The next thing I need to focus on is saving between three and four grand which is roughly what we think the trip will cost. Truck rental will run us at least $1000 per person and we will have to purchase most of our camping gear when we get there. With airlines adding new luggage restrictions daily, as well as most now charging for even one checked bag, we won't have enough room for two weeks worth of clothing let alone camping equipment. I may look into some compact and light-weight gear options from REI, but I still think our best bet is to just buy the needed equipment once we arrive.
That's all I've got for now. As the trip draws closer and things start coming together I will undoubtedly be updating this blog. And of course, once we are actually in country, I will be updating when I can and I can guarantee there will be some incredible and stunning photography to go along with it!