katla iceland

Fire and ice day 13:”How ya gonna keep em down on the farm”

July 15, 2021

Photo Credit: Carol Madigan

air travel: last two seats on the plane
Just made it, last two seats

   Carolyn told me about a trip she made to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. She traveled with a tour, but she went alone. On the flight home, she told me she said to herself, “I can do anything.”

   As Carol and I were flying home from a bucket list trip to Iceland, I remember thinking to myself, “We can do anything.” And I immediately thought, My God, I don’t want that!

From the beginning, I knew my travel philosophy wouldn’t win converts even among mollusks

   Especially not with someone like Carol, who proved after living with me in a camper van for ten days, she’d be ready to go hiking off to Machu Picchu, Kathmandu or Coney Island for crying out loud.

travel weather
Weather not in our favor

   I mean, I said let’s go to Iceland at the time, because that was the only destination I could suggest that would accept our vaccination cards. I didn’t actually think she’d ever warm to the idea. And she didn’t at first, but as she continued to observe the crater I was digging on the couch that was beginning to rival what Katla had created in Iceland, I noticed a change in her interest and curiosity.

   “I wouldn’t mind outrunning hot lava compared to what I’m seeing here,” she said, as she fluffed the cushions.

Landscapes were ridiculous

   But now I’ve done it! I told myself from the First Class seats we managed to cop as we took off from Reykjavik. The world is her oyster. We’re gonna wind up with walking the Great Wall in China, schlepping the Taj Mahal or traipsing the boardwalk at Jones Beach.

Mother Nature’s showing off the whole time
how to travel iceland: camper van
Yes, it did get cold

   I fear I’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of travel possibilities, or at least Pandora’s roll-aboard. I’m seriously concerned now that my earlier ideas of Hey, let’s just get a couple of global Eurail Passes, and see where they take us, are going to fall on increasingly jaded ears.

   I can’t say that I’d blame her. From the beginning, I knew my travel philosophy wouldn’t win converts even among mollusks. My hope has always been that the bistro car on a French TGV high speed would provide enough excitement and adventure for Carol. But I think I realized when we’d got off that wonderful four hour Paris to Amsterdam run, complete with a great salami and cheese baguette and half bottle of vin rouge ordinaire, and she turned to me and said, “Well, what are we going to see first?” that I knew I was going to have to raise my game somewhere north of first class rail service and lunch.

   Now, I realize I’ve inadvertently raised the bar even further. If we don’t see a cascading waterfall every time we make a turn around a majestic rock ledge, or come upon a herd of reindeer in the wild, spot a glacier sliding out to the very road we’re traveling on, traversing fjords or scaling snow covered mountains down to snug Atlantic harbors, I can just see Carol casting a gimlet eye and saying, “Reid, it’s just s sidewalk cafe, already. How many are we going to stop at? We’ve got two weeks here.”

   I know I won’t have an answer anymore. It’s like the song goes, “How ya gonna keep me down on the farm after they’ve seen Iceland?”

travel views: rainbow across a gorge in iceland
Found the rainbow pic I couldn’t show you before

Need to catch up on our Iceland trip from the beginning? Start here! Fire and Ice: Day 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.