Are You Silly?: Conspiracy Theories, Burnt Boots and $11 Beers in Iceland

The Super Jeep looks like a Wrangler on steroids. It’s raised on beefy suspension, the monstrous tires almost as tall as the hood of a small car. We can hear the engine-mounted air-compressor, ready to quickly adjust tire pressure to handle the varied terrain.

Our team—guide and Englishman Steve Lewis, athletes KC Deane, Ahmet Dadali and Sämi Ortlieb, cinematographers Josh Berman and Robin Lee, cook Kereen Smith, and myself—eventually finish hauling a huge mess of ski, camera, camping and cooking gear from our hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland. Palma “Palmi” Georg Baldursson, our driver and the group’s only Icelandic native, further explains the Jeep’s features. He also explains that we’ll likely need all of them during the drive ahead.

That’s because we’re about to depart to Landmannalaugar, a mountainous zone in Iceland’s Fjallabak Nature Reserve some 110 miles east of the country’s capital, on the famous, 4×4-only-access Icelandic Highlands. During the summer, tourists flock to Landmannalaugar to enjoy the region’s 3,700-foot-tall, volcanically formed peaks and numerous geothermal hot springs. There’s a large mountain hut and small store, and a web of busy trails wander through a colorful landscape of auburn lava flows, silvery sand bars, and turquoise rivers and lakes…

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