Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 11 1/2 (the sub-day) - Somewhere north of Fairbanks

Well, never let it be said that we didn't do everything we possibly could to see these dang lights!

We got up at 1:30 and dressed in 4 layers each since the weather man said it was going to be around freezing overnight (we heard one lady saying it had snowed where she was the night before!).  We headed out, intending to drive 25 miles away to a place called Skiland that was recommended by Marnie, our B&B owner.  She said that you could even pay $25 to stay inside and watch through the glass domed roof of the place, or you could just use their parking lot as a high vantage point, so that was our plan.

(that little white dot is Venus, we think)

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?  The same applies to women, I guess, because we drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove, and we never came to the turnoff for Skiland.  We did see the northern lights off to the side for a brief couple of minutes, but there was nowhere for me to pull off, so Shannon just got to watch them by her lonesome.  The road where we drove (insert more "and droves" here) followed the ridge of a mountain, and we kept hoping to top it so that we could the northern horizon, but it never quite made it.  Also, the moon was VERY intense, and finally, there was a weird light in the eastern sky that we couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  We finally figure figured out that it was actually the sun coming 4:00 in the dang morning for crying out loud!  We could actually see the glow earlier than that even, but we refused to acknowledge what it was.  It was bizarre.

Anyway, needless to say, we didn't get to see any really good northern lights.  I did take a couple of pictures from an overlook we stopped at one the way back, but all in all, the night was a bust.  We're pinning all our hopes on tonight (Thursday) where the level jumps to a 4, which is supposed to produce crazy good lights....if the skies are clear.  That part of the puzzle is the iffy part, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

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