On the way



To whom does this book belong...?


To the time it has taken, or to the land that has guarded it for so many years? To the hikers who reported their experiences and signed in here?


Softened, gnawed, and torn, I found it last year in a ramshackle hut in northern Iceland, at a remote fjord where no road leads, only a boat docks twice a week. The former shelter is now a meager refuge for birds and mice; wind, rain, snow, and frost penetrate freely, it will probably not survive the next winter.


As a rescue mission, I packed the booklet in my backpack and took it home. After the paper had dried, I began to explore the contents. Hundreds of hikers signed in from 1996 to 2018, reporting their experiences, accidents and strokes of luck, about the weather and the intoxicating feeling of being on the road in this overwhelming nature.


Many of the reports vividly reminded me of my own trips to Iceland over the past two decades. I searched my photo archive, walked the old paths again, made connections to the unknown from the dilapidated hut book, and linked their writings with my pictures, as an attempt at approximation.


Mathias Richter, 2023