Ok. Thanks to everyone for your help.

I am back in New Hampshire having arrived back last night. As I, and maybe others, may refer back to this thread, I wanted to get a few useful tips and resources down while they are fresh in my mind.

First, let me say, I really enjoyed the trip. I feel relaxed, somewhat refreshed, and Iceland is a definite change of scenery. And this may because I do travel a good amount, but it reminded me of different places I've been. What was odd, was to have them all within miles of each other. Parts reminded me of the Icefields parkway in Banff/Jasper National Parks. Parts reminded me of the Seward Inlet in Alaska. Other parts, the badlands in eastern Washington. But, then, parts very distinctively Iceland.

Second, I may have been unlucky with the weather. About 3 weeks leading up to the trip, I started checking on the weather and it was often "Partly Cloudy" with every third or fourth day being a rain/snow event. As the window for my trip approach, every day was Rain/Snow, an indication of some sort of system moving through. So, keep in mind, I may have had a bad weather week. Yet, talking to the locals, bad weather is not uncommon. More so, they thought this had been an atypical March.

So, how bad was the weather. Well, "good" weather oscillated from heavy snow, to rain, to blizzard like conditions and finally to sunny about 5 to 6 times a day. The bad weather, we had gale force winds, hurricane force winds, and roads that were bad enough I found the first safe place to pull over and started adjusting plans. Originally being from Idaho and currently in New Hampshire, I drive snowy, stormy roads all the time.

One of my primary goals was an ice cave tours schedule for Friday. You know that storm that has cause the evacuation of a cruise ship and cargo ship off of Norway on Saturday. I am pretty sure that was moving over Iceland on Friday. My plan was to drive 3 hrs after the tour to our hotel for Friday night. Considering Jokulsarlon is about 6-7 hrs under good conditions to the airport, we did not want to drive the whole thing on Saturday and still catch our flight. I talked to the tour operator twice Friday morning, never said anything, and our hotel, and they never said anything, and both knew our plan. We were at Jokulsarlon and our actual guides eyes bugged out when they heard our plan and they started talking about how we needed to bunk down near there the night as the roads would likely be closed after the tour. As I got them to explain why, they showed me this wind model that showed up to 38 m/s (85 mph) sustained winds (hurricane force) projected for our path for immediately after the tour with the potential for snow. So, we scuttled the Ice Cave tour and headed back immediately through ~20-25 m/s (55 mph) winds. Mind you, this started about 15 miles south of Jokulsarlon and at Jokulsarlon, it was calm. People were flying drones over the lagoon. Sure the surf was up, but the weather was really pleasant where we were when we made the decision. 15 miles south, the winds were enough to be blowing my sideways and causing water in rivers/puddles/etc to fly aerosolize/fly up. Like I said, I am pretty sure this was the same system that is now causing the abandonment of two ships off Norway.

So, that is Iceland.

A few tips:
  • First, I am a bit surprised but there seems to be almost this "if you want to kill yourself, we'll let you" attitude. Maybe it is independence? Maybe self sufficience? But I often run my plans by someone at the hotel and usually, if what I am proposing has a problem, they let me know. Here, it was more of "enjoy and good luck."
  • Speaking as someone that is a bit aggressive in there plans, next time, I will probably favor multiple hotels and shorter travel distances.
  • I may actually rely on tours to get me there and back from something specific. First, this lets you enjoy the scenery, which is amazing. But diesel was ~$7-8/gal, which actually does begin to offset the cost of a tour.
  • To help being self sufficient, www.road.is is a great resource. It shows weather, road conditions, and number of cars passing different points in the last 10 min / that day (little car symbol followed by an over under number like 4/125 means 4 cars in the last 10 min, and 125 cars that day).
  • www.weather.is is the English version of www.vedur.is and is what locals seem to use. More precisely, they look at the detailed model forecast as weather can be very localized. If you just look at reporting stations, you may miss an issue. That predicted 38 m/s winds? In between weather reporting stations, which peaked at ~22-25 m/s. But weather.is also includes the roads data as well as their own aurora forecast.
  • No auroras on my trip, but the link above is great. I also really like Spaceweatherlive and Aurora Pro apps. But, as Kari has pointed out, we had cloud cover every night, which is not that uncommon for Iceland.
  • Talking to our hotels, they actually think May is the best combination of good weather and fewer tourists. Peak tourist times tend to be Feb-March (I thought I was shoulder), and June-September.
  • There is a bit of a problem in lack of places to pull off the road. As in, the roads are actually very elevated with steep decline, so you can't pull over. You either stop in the middle of the road (which I saw people doing), or you simply do not stop. I watched some epic light on landscapes go by simply because I could not find a place to pull over that I did not consider dangerous.

A few impressions:
  • Skogarfoss is more impressive in person than pictures.
  • Seljalandsfoss was a bit less than I expected. I didn't get to walk behind it, as that was closed due to ice, but I suspect it is famous because it is the first waterfall you see coming from Reykjavik on Rt 1 in this region, is right off the road, and it photographs from behind the falls well.
  • Kirkjufellfoss. Beautiful scene, and remarkably straightforward to photograph. There are about 3 set ups to shoot it from. This was maybe the only time I used my 16-35 lens and shooting from the top of the falls, I could have used wider. Rest of the falls were at 16-18 mm.
  • Amazing waterfalls are everywhere. Now that I've seen it, it makes sense, Iceland has all these melting glaciers set atop these basalt/volcanic pedestals. As water cascades off the pedestal, usually you have a waterfall. I actually wonder if many of the famous ones are about access. I saw plenty of great looking waterfalls from a distance behind a farm and a "private road" sign.
  • Landscapes in Iceland are underrated, at least from what I have seen online. The landscapes are stunning.

I'll add a few more impressions as I think of them. But, in terms of the trip overall, I am already planning on going back. I have at least 2 trips in mind: One to get my ice cave; and the other, in more of peak season for puffins, whales, and waterfalls with more greenery around them.