Lake Tahoe

East of the Sierras | Lake Tahoe | Lassen Volcanic National Park | Central Valley | Yosemite National Park | The Lower Kern

East of the Sierras

East of the Sierras | Lake Tahoe | Lassen Volcanic National Park | Central Valley | Yosemite National Park | The Lower Kern

Mesa Verde, Bisti, Albuquerque, and Taos

Puebloan Country We are now in Puebloan country. Leaving Durango, we snake up the highway to the top of Mesa Verde. From the road leading up to it, this place emphatically punches the clear blue sky. As I drive up, I wonder how there would be enough water to sustain…

Aspen, Crested Butte, and Durango

Leadville to Aspen Riding a train through the Rockies has been a much talked about highlight for this trip. Earlier in the summer, Vacation Bible School’s Rocky Railway theme song “Your Power Will Pull Us Through” echoed in our household. The opportunity was perfect to end our summer with a…

Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Avon

Traveling during the pandemic Plans might have to be cancelled, and with the pandemic surge over the summer, I started a list of each hotel’s latest date to cancel without paying for the first night. We stood ready to cancel this trip. Then five days before our departure, we decided…

Santa Monica

We had been locked down for too long. Going stir-crazy, we book a hotel in Santa Monica and head there to spend time at the beach. This is sort of a test trip for our upcoming vacation in Colorado and New Mexico. The wagon proved to be handy, since it…

Full Circle

Our first stop is in Borgarnes, at The Settlement Center. This multimedia exhibit opens our eyes to how Iceland was settled in her early days. We learn about how the Viking sailors left Norway and braved the open ocean to arrive and thrive in Iceland. The second exhibit chronicles Egil’s saga, detailing his family’s arrival, settlement, and turmoil.

North and West

Shortly after leaving the Mývatn area, we pull up to Goðafoss. A light rain mixed with not-so-light winds cuts this visit short. There are tourists climbing down the slick face of the flanking cliffs to take their pictures. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Eastern Side

Our trip winds up the eastern coast along the black sand beach of Djúpivogur. Leaving the Ring Road, we take the shortcut up Route 939 and 95. This dirt road switchbacks up the mountain, crests, and leads us down to Egilsstaðir. Because of the long drive today, we decide to get sandwiches and chips for the road. Beyond town, we rejoin the Ring Road and head west.

Southern Coast

Our cabin is tucked at the base of a towering mountain rising from the plains facing the ocean. From this picturesque location, we head to Skógar. I turn into a dirt road, and I soon realize that it’s one too early. Even though it’s the wrong street, there’s a beautiful green field with Skógafoss as a backdrop and no crowds. It’s a picture-perfect location.

Trip to Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar had been on my list for a long time. It’s featured in so many hiking articles that it is hard to pass up. Months ago, I had put our names on the waiting list for the backcountry hut. Our alternative plan was to camp or to completely skip this detour.

Golden Circle Tour

Waking up this first morning in Iceland, we enjoy breakfast at the hotel before setting out. The route takes us around Þingvallavatn, a rift valley formed between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. We join the crowds at Þingvellir, hiking to the rock outcropping where the earliest parliament of the world gathered since AD 930. Our kids didn’t enjoy the winds at all.

To Iceland

This is to be our most ambitious international trip to date, not only because we’ll be bringing our three-year-old plus our nearly ten-month-old baby, but because we have planned such varied lodging experiences—the usual hotels, guesthouses, camping, plus a backcountry hut reached only by fording two streams.