As the night progressed to the 3 o’clock hour, I did not lift my voice as I often do, but stood in reverent silence and awe at what was transpiring before me. It was only my second night ever in Alaska and I knew that I was witness to something special. The night before I’d bivvied in my truck just outside of Tok after crossing the border from the Yukon. I was awakened by a passing truck and looked out the window just in case and sure enough the northern lights began their dance. When I arrived in Anchorage the next day and heard the forecast was for an even stronger display I changed my plans and drove back north as far as I could before nightfall, finding a pullout in Denali State Park.
Around 11:20 pm there was a small display of lights and then they subsided. I waited, battling sleep, and hoping the cloud cover would not become too obtrusive. I had picked a spot with a view of the Denali range, but moved as the lights were a little to the northeast at that time.
At 1:15am, the show began in earnest. Shimmering curtains of light of varying colors danced about the sky. Wow.
The lights subsided for some time and just before 3am began again. I knew that all previous thoughts of sleep were gone, this would be a night I’d be up until dawn.
Visiting clouds, which had given me concern, actually gave some accent to the sky and I ended up welcoming them.
What happened next will stay with me forever. The strongest band of activity took place directly overhead and the lights seemed to move along a jet stream directly overhead. At this point I could only thank Creator for allowing me to be witness to such a special night. It was as though a curtain to eternity had been pulled aside for a few moments and I was allowed in.
Before long the colors of dawn intermingled with the aurora and I rejoiced in it.
Thanks for being a part of the journey and feel free to share this post. Not so much for my sake, but for others to get to experience a small part of Alaska and to join in the work of the protection of wilderness.
For some, my coming summer in Alaska will be news to you. I’ll be working as a ranger at Katmai National Park for the season. I won’t have reliable internet, so there won’t be much from Alaska until the fall. I will still be posting scenes from Florida throughout the summer every Thursday. So please follow this blog or Nomadruss on Facebook if you want to keep up with the automatic posts. I won’t be able to reply to comments right away, so please be patient with my response. Thanks, Russ
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! This is so beautiful I can’t believe it! I know that must have been so special! Thanks for sharing Russ! 👍🏻☺️
Appreciate it, I’m deeply grateful to have given witness.
WOW! Spectacularly amazing and that is an understatement! Thank you so much for staying awake and taking these pics!!
Thanks Terese, appreciate the kind words!
Breathtakingly beautiful, Russ!! I grew up in Michigan, and we were always watching for the “Northern Lights”, especially in the summer time, and I have lived in California and Arizona ever since I left Michigan, and the lights are one of the things I have missed the most. I will look at these photos over and over. Thank you, thank you! Marilyn
Thanks Marilyn, I don’t even know what to say, how to describe such an experience. You know. It’s beyond understanding.
Russ! Superb photos!
These are amazing photos! I had the opportunity to see the Northern Lights while in the arctic circle, Kiruna, Sweden last winter. There is no way to explain it. It is literally electric, like the sky is living and pulsing. We couldn’t stay quiet. We jumped up and down and couldn’t stop shouting “Oh my God it’s so beautiful!” It’s truly an amazing experience.
I varied between the two on two different nights. Quiet awe, and shouting “Wow,” and “Hallelujah” over and over again. And “Thanks.”
So beautiful! I hold my memories of the small displays I could see from my home in WA State growing up but they were nothing as large as your perfect night.
It did feel like a gift, a perfect night indeed. I’m glad you have those memories.
Thank you for sharing your incredible experience and marvelous images, Russ. What a spectacular night you had! I hope you have a wonderful summer in Alaska.
Thanks Jane Lurie, I think it’s going to be the best summer ever!
Oh my, that’s amazing!!
I’ll never forget it.
An authentic time experiencing Creator’s artwork in motion!! Bless you, my friend….next time you are here in FL…please connect…would love a chat! Peace ……
That would be great, thanks for the note!
Amazingly beautiful! All praise to Creator God!
The heavens do indeed declare His glory!
Hi . Im amazed with your shots. Can we further explore those shots further? Please email me at email@example.com Thanks for your pics. Will await your response.
I’m glad you appreciate them!
hey thanks for answering. can I send you a pic and take a shot of it? I just want to see the color deviations of the camera you used. If that is ok with you, so I can better analyze the shots .
I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking.
Beautiful Photos. Have a wonderful summer in Alaska.
gorgeous pictures! fantastic post
Very nice photos, Russ!! Come on up to North Pole, Alaska. We have a Facebook friend in common.
Jessie, I’ll drop in!
That is so awesome! Amazing, amazing photos. I’m so jealous, seeing the Northern Lights is near the top of my Bucket List. Did you have to use very long exposures for the pictures?
No, I set the camera between 2500-3200 ISO and shot for 8-10 seconds mostly.
That’s not bad. They sur turned out great.
Not bad at all.
It really was, thanks!
Nature and its wonders. BEAUTIFUL caption 😀
What an amazing experience and photos!!!
It really was, thanks!
Thanks for sharing such beautiful photographs
Glad to share them!
Glorious. I wonder if people who see this all the time ever get tired of it? Thank you for sharing. One day I will see them for myself.
I don’t think they necessarily get tired of them, but they don’t wake up in the middle of the night every time they’re out, I know that.
Breathtaking pics! I’d love to see the Aurora, even once in the life would be something to be always grateful for
I’ll certainly always be grateful for that night!
It must have been an amazing experience. I almost drifted to actually being there and experiencing the same… 🙂
That’s a great compliment, thanks!
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Beautiful pictures. I wish I could experience it myself someday.But until then, Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience, something hard to describe, so magically portrayed by you.