Friday, March 20, 2020

North of 60 : Aurora Night

We booked our trip to the Northwest Territories with the explicit purpose of seeing the Northern Lights. Seeing them far away from city lights at Blachford Lake Lodge was our primary goal, with the extra nights in Yellowknife as our backup plan. I'm thrilled to say that we were treated to an AMAZING show on our second night in Blachford.

We had heard that we would need special cameras with fancy filters, etc., to get awesome photos. Granted, I have a new iPhone that takes really great photos, but still. That's an iPhone pic.

After dinner we popped out onto the balcony to see what we could see. The sky was pretty dark already, and we had been told that we wouldn't see the aurora until really late. But even at 6:53 we could see the faintest glimmer.

So we bundled up and went down to the lake, where the show started pretty early:

Wil had his fancy camera and a tripod; I just tried to keep still. It was so cold that batteries kept draining until we could warm things back up.

Over the course of about an hour, the sky changed over and over. Liam, a boy from Quebec, told us that he had been told that if you whistle ("I don't know what the word is in English -- what is this? [whistles]") the lights will dance.

So about 12 of us stood across the ice in little groups, whooping and whistling and cheering and making the sky dance. I'll shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

We were chilled to the bone and the skies calmed down. We went in to the lodge, had some hot cocoa, and went up to our room to sleep... Of course we put our WAKE ME UP FOR AURORA sign out!

I don't know how much later but one of the staff ran up to our rooms and banged on all the doors and said, "THERE'S NO TIME -- JUST GO OUTSIDE".

Six or eight of us piled out onto the little deck -- I had tights, a t-shirt, and my big jacket on -- and were ASTOUNDED. It was so cold but we huddled together and stayed out there for about 5 gorgeous minutes as the lights streaked over the top of the lounge.

And then, just as suddenly, the lights were gone. We all went back in to warm up, but the show was over. It was magical and wonderful and was absolutely the highest highlight of a trip FULL OF HIGHLIGHTS.

Up next : Snowmobiling? Yes!