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Nature Archives - MAP AND MOVE

Iceland Video by Cam Thompkins

Video: Capturing Life & Iceland in Motion

By | Europe, Iceland | No Comments

“You can’t change the cards you’re dealt, just how you play the hand.”

The quote above is by Randy Pausch, a professor and author of one of the best books on life that I’ve ever read. In The Last Lecture, Pausch writes about how to achieve your childhood dreams. He’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer and this was the last lecture he gave to this students at Carnegie Mellon.

After my cousin Victoria was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, she had this quote tattooed on her arm. She used it to remind herself to seize life, no matter what the circumstances. 3 weeks ago she passed away. She was my life-long best friend.

In the midst of her passing, the Map&Move trip to Iceland was in two days. Amie, Cam, Matt, Joe and Nate were 5 strangers whose only common bond was the fact that they’d signed up for the same trip. I needed to be in New York to be with family, but but I was determined for them to go- life was dealing a shitty hand but there was no time to sulk.

So in the midst of planning  the funeral, I re-booked logistics for the trip, checked my maps and hashed out the new itinerary with the crew; they would be set to go to Iceland without me.  But I was nervous- this would be the first time I’d planned a trip and not be there to see it through.

PC: Amie Jean

PC: Amie Jean

The crew came back from Iceland 5 days later. Not only did they come back with amazing stories, but Cam created this breathtaking video of the trip. He wrote, “We had around 5.5 hours of daylight, with the sun constantly on the horizon. It was immensely beautiful. It also forced us to be very deliberate about where we went, given the small amount of time we’d be able to see these natural wonders. This video was shot over the course of 4 days. I want to thank those adventurous friends I made on the trip, and Map&Move for presenting me with this opportunity to venture to a place I never thought I’d go to.

Thanks to these magnificent Map&Mover’s for their support and taking the itinerary and making it their own. I’m grateful to Amie for taking the lead, to Cam for capturing the essence of the trip through his lens, to Joe, Matt and Nate for playing everything by ear, and to everyone for taking the cards they were dealt and playing a great hand.

Iceland nature Map&Move

Iceland Day 4: Driving the Golden Circle

By | Iceland, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Let’s see. Today, I walked the fault line between two tectonic plates, saw some geysers, checked out a waterfall, and saw a volcanic crater. Oh and I got a sweet new hat! -Matt

Photos and captions by Matt Levin & Cam Thompkins

PC: Cam Thompkins

PC: Cam Thompkins

Tectonic plates

The tectonic plate dividing the Eurasia and North America. PC: Cam Thompkins

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss, one of the largest waterfalls in the world. PC: Cam Thompkins

Kerid Crater

Kerid Crater, frozen over. PC: Cam Thompkins

The extended sunset is incredible. PC: Cam Thompkins

The extended sunset is incredible. PC: Cam Thompkins

Roadtrip Iceland

PC: Matt Levin

A contemplative Joe Hsu.

A contemplative Joe Hsu. PC: Cam Thompkins

Iceland Day 3: Hike Glaciers And Black Sand Beaches

By | Europe, Iceland, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Today was ermayzing. Hiked a glacier and saw ice pieces on a black sand beach.

Photos and text by Amie Jean & Cam Thompkins

Vatnajökull National Park. PC: Cam Thompkins

Taken just past Skaftafell, on the eastern side of the island. PC: Cam Thompkins

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

Our glacier hike guide, Donna. She explained what glaciers are and how they form. Snow fall from the mountain top piles, flows down the mountain, melts. Then the next snow fall piles, flows down the mountain, melts. PC: Amie Jean

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

Where I’m standing in this photo, the ice is only about 5 to 10 meters thick, and about 150 years old. PC: Amie Jean

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

Over time, each layer compacts into a thick sheet of ice. PC: Amie Jean

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

Donna chipped off a piece of the glacial floor we were standing on and I put a piece of the 150 year old ice in my mouth. Probably the cleanest piece of ice i’ve ever ingested. PC: Amie Jean

Inside a glacier crevacInside a glacier crevice

Inside a glacier crevice. PC: Amie Jean

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

The thickest point of the Vatnajokull glacier is up to 1000 meters thick. PC: Amie Jean

Glacier hike on Vatnajökull

PC: Joe Hsu

Leaving Vatnajökull Iceland

Leaving Vatnajökull. PC: Amie Jean

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake, Iceland

Arriving at Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake. PC: Cam Thompkins

Ancient ice on the black sand beach of Jökulsárlón. PC: Amie Jean

Ancient ice on the black sand beach of Jökulsárlón. PC: Amie Jean

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake

PC: Cam Thompkins

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake

Reflection. PC: Cam Thompkins

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake

PC: Cam Thompkins

Iceland Days 1+2: Waterfalls, Volcanoes & Icelandic Horses

By | Europe, Iceland, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Ahhh, Iceland. I wasn’t able to make our most recent trip, but the newest Map&Move crew did. Amie, Nate, Cam, Matt and Joe flew in on Thanksgiving. After a proper home-cooked Icelandic holiday feast,  they took off driving through the land of fire and ice.

Photos and captions by Amie Jean & Cam Thompkins

We hiked behind the waterfall (got soaking wet and frozen, but so worth it). PC: Amie Jean

SO MUCH happened today!! Departed Reykjavik, stopped at Seljandsfoss and hiked behind the waterfall. (Got soaking wet and frozen, but so worth it). PC: Amie Jean

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PC: Amie Jean

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

PC: Amie Jean

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

PC: Amie Jean

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PC: Amie Jean

Stopped at Skogafoss and climbed a bajillion stairs to the top of the waterfall. PC: Cam Thompkins

Stopped at Skogafoss and climbed a bajillion stairs to the top of the waterfall. PC: Cam Thompkins

Everywhere the clouds seemed to rise from the ground. It felt like another planet. PC: Cam Thompkins

Then we went off route and discovered an epic archway. Everywhere the clouds seemed to rise from the ground. It felt like another planet. PC: Cam Thompkins

The black sand beaches of Vik took my breath away. Viewed from off route, from Dyrhólaeyjarviti. PC: Cam Thompkins

These are the black sand beaches viewed from Dyrhólaeyjarviti, which sits about 1000 feet up. The white on the right side is snow. PC: Cam Thompkins

Dyrhólaeyjarviti

Dyrhólaeyjarviti, PC: Cam Thompkins

Icelandic horses (ponies?) PC: Cam Thompkins

Icelandic horses (ponies?) PC: Cam Thompkins

PC: Amie Jean

PC: Amie Jean

Virigina, Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah Valley

Day 3: The colors of Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

By | OUR TRAVELS, US | No Comments

We left D.C. in the morning and spent the day driving along the winding contours of the Blue Ridge Parkway through Northern Virginia.

Driving through Shenandoah Valley: nothing but road, colors, and Freedom.

Seas of blue and rolling green in the Shenandoah Valley of northern Virginia.

Virigina, Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah Valley

Pausing to take it all in.

Driving through Shenandoah Valley: nothing but road, colors, and nature.  #Freedom.

Nothing but nature, colors, and freedom.

Virginian ham, apple cider donuts at Apple House, Virginia

George from the U.K. got his first dose of the American fast food experience. It occurred to him that you actually drive through a drive-thru, as opposed to driving pass the restaurant in its entirety. 4 frozen custards and a scene from Lost In Translation later, we made another stop at the Apple House Linden, VA, for sandwiches stuffed with Virginian ham, home-made apple cider donuts, and… Davy Crocket.

Driving through Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Just us, nature and our little car.