joe_distSometimes when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. We made gallons of lemony goodness today in Iceland, overcoming adversity and challenges thrown at us from all directions. Our day started gloomy, with dark clouds and a steady rain turning the Icelandic landscape into a foreboding place. Looking forward to breakfast and coffee to shake the sleep off and lift our spirits, we arrived in the dining room of our backwoods Chateau Atco sleeping arrangements to find that the chef had chosen to sleep in, leaving the room dark, cold, and devoid of food. Some grub was eventually rustled up, and we packed up our junk show and hit the road.

Our destination was a glacial lake with epic views a couple hour drive from our lodging. Everything was going just peachy, music blasting and mind blowing scenery unfolding in front of us. A couple river crossings into a long dirt road access, the van suddenly listed to one side and the ride got a lot bumpier. We pulled off to the side and discovered a shredded rear tire. In the harsh wind and cold rain the crew banded together, got down into the mud, cracked the rust off frozen lug nuts, and eventually swapped the flat tire with the worn out (but air filled) spare. With a very suspect spare tire, our four wheel drive excursion was cut short, and our guide Magne and Kona man Mitch were entrusted with the task of heading back to civilization to find a new tire. Left behind, in the middle of the Icelandic wilderness, Sterl, Shandro, Matty and I rolled the proverbial dice and headed up a side valley to see if we could find some trail.

And that’s when we turned into lemonade manufacturers. Connoisseurs of the stuff. Doctorates in juice production. Gallons, rivers, lakes of sweet, refreshing lovliness. The valley opened up into towers of rock laced with vivid green moss, rivers running through chasms in the cliffs, and most importantly, tacky singletrack lacing through all of the wildness. We spent the next few hours hosing down some amazing shots, and exploring the little slice of paradise that our fortunate posse had stumbled upon. As the last lens shutter clicked Mitch and Magne showed up victorious with a new tire, and there were high fives all around.

We then blasted to the coast, where Matty decided to go swimming in the frigid North Atlantic to celebrate the successful turnaround of our day, and we drove back to our Atco trailers content and happy. Our day ended with a great free dinner to make up for our missing breakfast. And beers that tasted like lemonade.

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