To start our Ring Road adventure, we began with Iceland’s Golden Circle. This drive passes Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, the Strokkur Geysir, and Gullfoss Falls, and Kerið Crater. We also added on visits to Hjalparfoss and Gjáin. Below you will find a site map with all of the points of interest, as well as site overviews with photos and descriptions.
The Sense Ride is a new trail shoe from Salomon that’s being marketed as a “quiver killer”. To put this claim to the test, I brought the Sense Ride along for a two week trip to Iceland as my only footwear option. I’ve also taken the Sense Ride out for a few hikes in my local mountains. I don’t think the Sense Ride will replace ALL of the shoes on my shoe rack anytime soon, but so far they’ve done a great job at tackling a wide range of trails and conditions.
For travelers driving Iceland’s Ring Road, there are a few activity options for their first day after flying into Keflavík airport. Some visit the Blue Lagoon, others head straight to the Golden Circle, but we chose to spend a day in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík. In this self guided walking tour I will provide a map, a downloadable GPX, and a detailed walking guide with photographs and information for the tour highlights.
The hike to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork Trail is a great way to see the beauty on display in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Starting at the Big Pine Creek Campground, this trail passes by Mt. Alice, before entering the John Muir Trail Wilderness of Inyo National Forest. There are 7 Big Pine Lakes numbered sequentially. For this hike, we only visited the first three, as snow and ice were blocking the trail for lakes 4-7. The first three lakes are known to be the most scenic, as they sit with the majestic Temple Crag in the background.
The La Sportiva Bushido is an aggressively built shoe that’s equipped to handle the toughest of trails. The low-volume upper allows for very precise foot placement with zero slop or movement. The 6mm drop midsole is stable and handles very well with a heavy pack. The FriXion Red outsole provides phenomenal traction on a wide variety of surfaces, and although the outsole pattern isn’t the most aggressive, it provides more than adequate grip when things get sloppy.
Mono Lake is a large and shallow salt water lake just east of Yosemite National Park on HWY 395. Mono Lake is best known for it’s sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and it’s iconic tufas. One of the best places to see tufas along the shores of Mono Lake, is on the South Tufa Trail.
Cucamonga Peak via the Icehouse Canyon Trail is a 12 mile out-and-back hike that gains 4,339ft with a max elevation of 8,858ft. Located in the Cucamonga Wilderness of the San Bernardino National Forest, Cucamonga Peak sits in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains. Although Mt. Baldy is the most well known peak in the San Gabriels, Cucamonga Peak is known for commanding the best views.
The Wildhorse 4 is a trail shoe from Nike offering loads of comfort, protection, and performance. At just over 13oz (12.5 US), the Wildhorse 4 manages to stay light for the amount of trail protection it offers. Built on an 8mm drop platform and having a last with a wide toebox, this shoe has a stable ride, and is one of the only non-zero drop offerings with enough splay room upfront. For the Wildhorse 4, my standard size 12.5 fit true to size.
A few years ago, Ultimate Direction changed that by combining running vest comfort with backpacking capacity for their Fastpack 20 and 30. Ultimate Direction is best know for their running vests and hydration products that are used by some of the world’s elite ultra runners. This year, Ultimate Direction has released a revamped lineup of packs they’re calling the Trail Collection. This includes the Fastpack 15, 25, 35, and 45. For this review, I’ll be taking a look at the 35 and 45.