This was the road I most wanted to take in Iceland, but was very unsure if I should. The Sprengisandur (F-26) is the longest interior route through Iceland, is very rough and does not have bridged river crossings, was used by NASA to train astronauts for the moon landings, and has no settlements on it beyond one aid/camping station at around the halfway mark. Basically it’s everything an adventure rider looks for- I just wasn’t sure if I really qualified as one.
I’ve done a bit of off-road/rough road riding on this trip, most notably some great fun near Death Valley in California. What I’ve learned is that the GSA is a HEAVY bike to chuck around- even without all my gear on it. Could I really take the F-26, with all my gear, craptastic tires, and general lack of experience? The riders at the campsite (mentioned in a previous post) were encouraging, but suggested I maybe try The Kjölur (F-35) route first and then decide. It’s shorter, the major rivers are bridged, and it’s much more travelled. The idea made sense, but I didn’t go on this trip to do things that make sense- I went to explore, see new things, push myself. No, The Sprengisandur and I had a date.
Heading off in the morning the weather was bright and sunny, but by the time I reached my first stop at Geysir the rain had started to come down and the wind was trying to whip my bike across the road. Geysir is actually were the word ‘geyser’ is derived and, like all geysers, is entertaining for about one gush. I just can’t get excited by them- I’ll take The Fountains at The Bellagio over a geyser any day. They also attract other tourists like flies to…
Quickly moving on I hit something really worth seeing- Gullfoss. This waterfall is amazing with it’s odd angle and the way it’s buried in the ground- you can only see it from up close. While it also had swarms of tourists (for Iceland), I could see why people wanted to see it and it certainly didn’t feel like something I was just checking of the list of things to see.
Having seen the sights on the way it was time for the main event, The F-26.