Last Night’s Aurora

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. RBT_2350-Edit

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. RBT_2366-Edit

At 1:15am, the show began in earnest. Shimmering curtains of light of varying colors danced about the sky. Wow. RBT_2395-Edit




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. RBT_2483-Edit


Visiting clouds, which had given me concern, actually gave some accent to the sky and I ended up welcoming them. RBT_2504-Edit


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. RBT_2518-Edit-Edit




Before long the colors of dawn intermingled with the aurora and I rejoiced in it. RBT_2551-Edit




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


57 thoughts on “Last Night’s Aurora

  1. 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! 👍🏻☺️

  2. 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


  3. 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.

  4. Pingback: Friday’s Five, april 26 – adriennescottblog

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