A few years ago someone on the Icelandic 4x4 club forum asked the simple question "Where is the center of Iceland?" This turned into discussions about methods to calculate the exact point and finally the National Land Survey of Iceland was consulted. Using the coastline in the database and their software to locate the center at: 64°59'11.4" N and 18°35'12.0" W. This turns out to be just north of Hofsjokull icecap.
After the location had been determined the 4x4 club had to go and see the place. In the end a special stone was erected and this weekend a big off road journey is planned where the stone and the place will be "baptized" according to two religions.
There are about 150 4x4 trucks taking part in the tour. Most of the driver are starting out from the Hrauneyjar Hotel, conveniently placed by the edge of the highlands.
To organize the driving each car is designated a group and a group leader. Each group has a group leader, a common band on the VHF radio and the trucks are marked with a number.
As you can imagine (and see from the pictures) there are a lot of 4x4 trucks with really huge tires.
Pretty big Dodge Ram on 49 inch tires.
Nissan Patrol on 46 inch tires.
Land Cruiser on 46 inch tires.
And then even...
...two trucks on 54 inch tires. Like this Dodge Ram that also has Unimog portal axles.
Logi Ragnarsson owns this well restored and lifted Grand Wagoneer on 44 inch Dick Cepec's getting ready to take on the challenge.
Just like the 74 Bronco on 38s looks pretty small in comparison to many of the big guys.
If you have followed earlier articles you will probably recognize Skuli and his Land Rover.
Here is another with similar modifications.
Our group (#2) gets three extra passengers, a film making teacher and two students that will be filming the tour.
At 9 o'clock sharp the cars head on.
Even though we are still driving on a fairly good road there are parts where the snow is deep and we need to reduce the tire air pressure.
Hlynur in his nice Land Cruiser 90 on 38s getting ahead.
Magnus on his Nissan Navarra with the 38 inch Ground Hawks.
The big tires work well in the type of snow we have today. They can easily just step on it and fly by.
The bad part is that they leave tracks that are difficult to take advantage of. The tracks are deep with a high center that often leaves trucks with the smaller tires hanging loose and needing assistance to break free.
Even with all these trucks on the move in a harsh trail like this there are surprisingly few problems or accidents. This Chevy van has a tire fall into a small creek and breaks a locking hub. After being winched out he limps back on his own.
This Nissan Patrol takes more damage when it is driven off a 2 meter (7 feet) high bank into a small stream. No serious injury to the driver but the SUV needs some care.
Gudmundur on the red Land Cruiser speeds on...
...and so does this newer LC with the 46 inch tires.
In the end almost everybody gets to touch the center stone (even though we are too late to see the formal ceremony).
Reaching the center took our group about 6 hours and the way will be similar.
Older model Nissan Patrol on 44 inch tires.
Newer model Nissan Patrol.
And another similar.
All this driving finally empties the tank and I have to siphon from the 60 liter reserve tank I carry - since there are not many petrol stations around!
As we reach the Hrauneyjar Hotel in the dusk our mission is successfully accomplished.
Thanks too all the organizers and participants for a great journey to the center of Iceland!
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