Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 6

I almost didn’t finish the route on Day 6. I woke at Þórsmörk tired and sore, with aching toes and crotch, not feeling up to hiking almost all of the 25 km and 1000 m that separated me and Skógar. But as I ate breakfast, resigned to an unplanned rest day, the clouds lifted and the sun shone on the Fimmvörðuháls pass. On a whim, I decided to do it. “Þetta reddast”, I giggled softly to myself. Continue reading “Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 6”

Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 5

This day made lugging the unicycle along worthwhile. Kilometer after kilometer of flat, slightly sandy trail greeted me after I left the previous night’s campsite at Hvanngil. Hiking it all would have been mind-numbingly boring, so it was with considerable glee that I was able to cover some of the distance on wheel. Even so, the physical strain of the last few days caught up with me, and by the end of the day I was limping up the final hill from my too-small boots while I eagerly counted down the last few meters to my evening’s campsite at the Langidalur hut in the Þórsmörk valley. Continue reading “Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 5”

Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 4

After three days of Icelandic gravel roads, it was finally time to ride on the famous Laugavegur hiking trail. Day 4’s route was almost 30 km long, through colored mountains, snow slogs, and rocky volcano valleys. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t expect to get injured near Landmannalaugar and have to decide whether to push on or turn back. I managed to dredge up a bit of mental toughness and pushed on. And I’m very glad I did. Continue reading “Uni-Packing in Iceland: Day 4”

Uni-Packing in Iceland: Logistics

In July of 2017, I embarked on a 6-day mountain unicycle/trekking trip through a series of gravel roads and then on the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls hiking trails. In the interest of open-source knowledge sharing, here is a ridiculous amount of logistical information from the trip, including a packing list (with item weights!), food breakdown (also with weights!), route itinerary, and recommendations for accommodation on the trail. Enjoy, future adventurers! Continue reading “Uni-Packing in Iceland: Logistics”

Becoming Iceland’s “Crazy Unicycle Girl”

In July of 2017, I completed a 150-km backpacking trip with my mountain unicycle through gravel roads and over the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls hiking trails. The hiking trails were by no means remote, so I often encountered surprise, disbelief, and even some scepticism. “But why do it on a unicycle!?” My exact responses varied, but the core idea was the same: I had planned the trip to challenge myself. To force myself to do something outside of my comfort zone. And I succeeded. Continue reading “Becoming Iceland’s “Crazy Unicycle Girl””

A Wedding in Chile

Let it never, ever be said that the Chilean people lack warmth or hospitality. I learned this lesson well in March of 2016, when I flew to Chile for a two-month backpacking trip to celebrate the completion of my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Less than 48 hours after landing in Santiago, I found myself in a situation I had never imagined in my wildest dreams – adopted by a Chilean family and invited to be a member of their wedding party in Valparaíso. Continue reading “A Wedding in Chile”