Departing for an excursion to the Arctic Circle, Lars embarked early to take in as much as he could on a rare, sun-filled, summer day. With a warming Gulf Stream smashing into cold rock, cloudiness was usually on the agenda. Driving through broad river valleys, this was Norway’s rare farmlands and hosted a variety of animals and crops that could tolerate the climate. This area also attracted trout fisherman worldwide and provided breeding grounds for end-of-life salmon. Fish is 1 of the main staples of Norwegians and a lucrative employer for the sea faring type. The pastures gave way to forests as the terrain climbed another mountain chain only to drop back into another beautiful valley. This went on until a ferry ride to Tromso was inevitable. Situated on a wide, deep fjord that made a bridge crossing impossible, the ferry took an ample amount of cars across the waterway and gave a welcomed break to driving. Tomso is the city for launching scientific excursions into the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Egg-head researchers from all disciplines converge on this city before boarding cold ships heading for unforgiving waters. Beyond this point the trees shrunk as the growing season shortens. Rocky outcrops are much more prevalent, as shrub trees are sparse. In a roadside park was a wedding party that was in a photo session. Using the stark landscape as a backdrop for the bride and groom’s journey into another episode of life, Lars watched from a distance as the group of 16 or so young people smiled and laughed. Approaching a young Norwegian couple who spoke English and had drifted away, Lars asked the obvious. The couple responded that today would be the wedding for those happy 2 off in the distance. Tightwad Lars reached into his wallet and extracted an American $100 bill. He gave it to the couple to pass on to the newlyweds as a present. Somewhere in Norway is a couple with a $100 bill in their photo album from an uninvited stranger. PEACE, my friends. 

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