I found a ghost town while driving though the midwest. I spent the day wading through dead grass and exploring the vacant homes. A rusty water tower lay on the outskirts of the town and the yards were littered with old cars.
New life took over the town. Birds had built nests in many of the homes and there was a dead lamb in one. As it grew dark it began to rain. I picked the house with the cleanest bed and slept inside as I listened to rain drip through holes in the ceiling and patter on the roof. I woke up early to the sounds of raccoons near me on the stairs.
A Soulful Soak Under the Northern Lights: Ion Hotel
In need of a soulful soak under the Northern Lights? Less than an hour’s drive from the cultural landmarks of Reykjavik and set against a backdrop of majestic mountainous lava fields, stands the new Ion Hotel. Designed by the Santa Monica based architecture firm Minarc, the Ion exists in a land of myth and legend, on an island where fire meets ice, surrounded by hot springs, glaciers, and the mystical glow of the Northern Lights.
On this day in 1986, Columbia Records dropped country legend Johnny Cash after 16 years. In honor of Johnny, LIFE.com presents photos of the one and only Man in Black made for a November 1969 feature in LIFE magazine. See more photos here.
(Photo: Michael Rougier—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)