December 29, 2016

I am not a Vegas person. I had once held out hope that I might never see it at all, but alas that dream ended this year when one of my annual trade shows was held there. I decided that I would at least use the trip to get out and see something great in one of Utah's amazing National Parks. At two and a half hours by car, Zion is the closest to Vegas and seemed like the obvious choice. After doing a little research I discovered that I had just missed the free-for-all opening date for booking camping permits in June by two days (this bad karma would be paid back in a few months when I booked a 2017 trip, but that post is coming later). There are all kinds of amazing things to see and do in Zion; some of them, like the Subway or the Narrows (from the top down) are so popular that you have to enter a lottery to get a permit. Others, like the reserved campsites on the west side of the canyon, usually fill up on the first day they are available to be reserved, the fifth day of the month - tw...

December 23, 2016

On Friday, our time in the West Fjords was over and it was another day of driving with many sights mixed in. Mark got up early and got some nice pictures around Ísafjörður while the rest of us slept in (we had stayed up until past 2 AM streaming Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" huddled around an iPad) and packed up the car to hit the road.

Our first pit stop, just a short drive from Ísafjörður, was Súðavík, a very small town (Pop: 212!) and home of the arctic fox center. Súðavík has a sad history; in 1995 an avalanche killed 14 people and most of the town was declared uninhabitable in winter due to the ever-present danger. The entire town was basically relocated a little bit to the south, out of harm's way. Any buildings that remained are rented out to tourists in the summer but left empty in the winter.

We got to see an adorable, napping arctic fox, as well as this cute little library in a phone booth. Then it was off to the next stop...

 Behind the Arctic Fox Center in Súðaví...

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