From Iceland: a Love Letter

#stellerlove

Dear Piper, I already loved you so dearly. But when you agreed to drop everything last summer for an adventure across a giant, subarctic glacier with me and two of my closest friends how could I not love you even more?

Even if it meant leaving around midnight in Iceland's early July light to hike upwards for 6 hours...

I don't remember you complaining once. All I remember is crushing on you hard as we climbed through the surreal light of Iceland's southern glaciated landscape.

< Were those hearts in the sky, or in my eyes as we climbed? >

The next day was better. We hiked higher, separating ourselves further from the coastal plain below and marveling at the expanse...

I *love* how you get excited about light the way I do!

And how you have all the patience in the world for my photographic diversions.

I love your limitless energy...

...and graceful tele-turns.

After the first mini-adventure into the mountains we were all sore and weather-worn but you still had your sense of humor in spades.

So we started our crossing of Europe's largest glacier -- the Vatnajökull ice cap...

You didn't once hide your exhaustion.

Or cuteness...

Your favorite job every night was digging out a cooking depression in our tent vestibule 😍

And when we continued our progression across the ice cap through dangerously low visibility for 3 long days you didn't lose your spirit.

Nonetheless we were all grateful when the weather cleared...

• we felt our sizes again •

I loved skiing by your side through this landscape, watching mountains ahead grow larger at an impossibly sluggish pace. But soon we were in them and the bad weather had returned.

We had so much fun during those 32 hours in the tent, waiting for it to clear so we could descend off the glacier.

I almost proposed to you 3 times!

But I'm a patient guy.

So we made our way to the edge of the glacier... and you kept flashing that beautiful smile.

And as the weather changed once more we prepared to descend. I was crushing on you again as we skied down the vast snowfield, glaciers pouring forth off the ice cap to our right and left...

The snow turned to pouring rain that hurled down on our faces and packs like dirty insults.

But you were okay with walking in front of that view again for my camera 😍 In fact, you had a smile on your face.

Near the end of the 8th day of the crossing we finished our slog in the pouring rain after midnight, arriving at the hut in Kverkfjöll, set amidst the rocky interior of the country.

I didn't bat an eyelid over the $100+ highway robbery for our hostel-style beds in the warmth of this remote hut. I just wanted you to be warm and dry.

In the morning we caught a lucky ride out with a local, off-duty bus driver who spoke little English.

Our bus driver and his "legendary" sweatshirt.

It felt like just the two of us there, bouncing along through an otherworldly moonscape and I imagined a flood of other adventures we could have together for the rest of our lives. So I fished that ring out of my pocket, wrapped in tissue and smothered in masking tape, struggling to free it in order to put on your finger.

Good thing you said "yes" !

We spent the rest of the drive through the middle of nowhere planning our future together. 🌄

Miss, you are my light and my stars. All Love, Nathaniel

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