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Hiking in Iceland and Challenging Myself

Just days before my 60th Birthday trip to Iceland, I was in so much agony I couldn’t walk without my cane. My hip had decided it was ready to be replaced then! Luckily, my doctor agreed to give me a cortisone shot to relieve some pain and it saved my trip. 

The 7th day of our trip was the most physically challenging. We hiked 2 1/2 miles into the Reykjadalur (Steam) Valley to soak in its thermal river.

Iceland Wrapped up with Love

From the parking lot, the wide trail quickly narrowed to a vertical, gravely path. It was just beginning drizzle so the ground was getting slippery.

Reykjadalur Valley Iceland Everywhere we looked, steam was rising. In places the boiling hot spots were so close to the path it was hard to see our way.

We each carried our own bags packed with bottled water, bathing suit, towels etc. Me being me…carried two bags of stuff 🙂

Rekkjadalur Valley, Iceland

Ten minutes into our hike my daughter and son reached over and relieved me of my bags.

They held my hand as I navigated slick rocks to cross streams. Looped arms with me as we climbed steeper slopes and always watched to be sure I was holding up.

The path went on forever! Finally, we rounded a corner and spotted the river. Admittedly a lousy photo, but I was exhausted and just thrilled our long climb was over.
Rekjadalur River, Iceland

The thermal stream was amazing. We soaked for about 40 minutes then trekked down 2 1/2 miles in the pouring rain.

Again, my children insisted on carrying all my things.

I had a flashback to carrying their things when they were little. Holding their hands as they navigated jungle gyms and tried new things. It felt like life had come full circle.

I’m proud I made it to the top. I’m even more proud of the loving supportive adults my children are.

 

How have you challenged yourself lately?

Have a great day.

xo Jennifer

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35 Comments

  1. September 19, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Oh my gosh Jennifer. What a sweet story. So wonderful you got to do this with the kids. I love how good they were to you. Sounds like the perfect 60th birthday. I want to do this someday. I admire you for going even with the hip issue. Why the heck not? You might not ever do it if you didn’t take the chance now. Inspiring. Hugs, Kim

    • Jennifer
      September 19, 2016 / 8:18 pm

      It was the best, Kim!! You have that right…why the heck not?
      xoxo

  2. amy
    September 19, 2016 / 7:35 am

    It looks amazing. I would love to go there. We enjoyed a hot springs in Colorado this past May. I loved it. What nice kids you have to carry your bags for you.

    • Jennifer
      September 19, 2016 / 9:48 am

      Iceland is amazing. I encourage you to go! Yes, I’m blessed with wonderful children.

  3. September 18, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    What an amazing adventure you’ve had! All the Iceland photos are breathtaking. How wonderful that you were able to hike with the help of your children.

    I’m very sorry your hip is acting up so much again but very glad that the shot allowed you to experience Iceland!

    • Jennifer
      September 19, 2016 / 12:07 am

      It was the most fabulous adventure, Andrea! xoxo

  4. Suz
    September 18, 2016 / 10:23 am

    What a fabulous adventure, and how great to be able to share that trip with your whole family.
    Glad you were able to have some relief from your pain.
    Thank you for another wonderful post!
    Suz from Vancouver

    • Jennifer
      September 18, 2016 / 12:44 pm

      Sharing it with the whole family is what made it so fabulous! Thanks, Suz!

  5. Jackie
    September 18, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Good of all accounts!

  6. September 18, 2016 / 7:18 am

    Just wonderful, Jennifer — that you were in Iceland for your 60th, that you pushed yourself to make that trek, the stunning scenery, that shared soak in the hot pool, and the love and support of your family, especially your grown children.

    • Jennifer
      September 18, 2016 / 9:10 am

      It was a once in a lifetime experience. My heart is so full of priceless memories from it, Frances. I feel blessed, for sure.

  7. Wendy
    September 18, 2016 / 3:29 am

    What a beautiful post! Your kid DMS have indeed grown up to be wonderful people and that’s thanks to such a lovely mother!

    • Jennifer
      September 18, 2016 / 9:11 am

      You’re sweet, Wendy. Thanks. They are my pride and joy! Xx

  8. September 17, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    So glad you were able to make it and that your family was watching over you. What precious memories to share with them. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  9. September 17, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Wow. What a story and what a hike. And of course, what a family. Good luck with the hip replacement when it happens.

  10. September 17, 2016 / 11:59 am

    What a gutsy lady and dear family. Such a sweet story. With your hip I would never have the guts to hike 5 miles! Good for you.

  11. September 17, 2016 / 11:36 am

    Amazing that you did this with your bad hip! Brava! Brenda

  12. September 17, 2016 / 11:11 am

    Makes me kind of teary. xoxox.

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 11:25 am

      It did me too!! First I felt embarrassed, then proud. Funny experience. Great memories. XXX

  13. September 17, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Good that you were able to get some relief from that cortisone shot and I hope that you are not in too much discomfort now…
    Your family trip celebrating your milestone birthday is one for the memory books!

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 11:24 am

      The memories are priceless. I’m keeping my hip moving gently to try and keep it flexible. So far so good but my fingers are crossed.

  14. Judi Hume
    September 17, 2016 / 10:10 am

    What a wonderful trip! And what a beautiful, caring family you have. You should be very proud. I love reading your posts, and especially the ones about your 60th birthday trip. Happy belated birthday!

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 10:11 am

      Thanks so much, Judi. I am blessed. XX

  15. Atonia Walpole
    September 17, 2016 / 9:26 am

    I’ve been waiting to read more of your Iceland trip. What wonderful memories you’ve made. You met the challenge and that knowledge will stay with you when the next one comes along. You have a beautiful family.

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 10:05 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! It means a lot to me, Atonia.

  16. September 17, 2016 / 9:21 am

    Jennifer! So sorry about your hip! Glad you were able to get that shot before your trip. Yes, it’s so wonderful to see our adult children rise to the occasion and show what outstanding adults they are. Love the picture of the 4 of you!

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 10:10 am

      It really saved the trip. Thank goodness for modern medicine and fabulous children❤️

  17. Judy Heyman
    September 17, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Again Belated Birthday Wishes. What a wonderful experienc for your family and very heartwarming. Those memories will be with all of you forever. I had my hip replaced when I was 60 and it really gave me my life back. Dr. Dearborn at the Joint Replac ment Center at Washington Hospt in Fremont Ca. did my hip and two years later my knee.
    Love your postings and would love to meet sometime

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 10:08 am

      I know I am due for a full hip replacement, but they’ve told me I’m not in enough pain
      to see massive improvement from the surgery! I would have begged to differ before this last cortisone shot.
      I’d love to meet for coffee sometime.

  18. Leslie Haws
    September 17, 2016 / 8:51 am

    So glad to hear about the end of your trip. Such a beautiful family!

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 9:02 am

      Thanks so much!!

  19. September 17, 2016 / 8:41 am

    It sounds like an amazing trip, Jennifer! Good for you for a) undertaking the hike and b) allowing your kids to help.

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 9:01 am

      The allowing wasn’t easy! I kept saying I could carry my own bags but they wouldn’t hear of it! It was a funny feeling.

  20. Noelle
    September 17, 2016 / 8:09 am

    What a wonderful memory you and your kids will always have of that thrilling trip. Hope you get that hip replaced soon — it’s really amazing how fast one recovers and so wonderful to have the pain gone right away.

    • Jennifer
      September 17, 2016 / 9:00 am

      I know it’s in my future but it had been doing ok until right before the trip.

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