When the Sun Dances with the Stars

Squanga Aurora 4We made it to Whitehorse in time for Angel’s appointment. She has now been to veterinarians in ten states and one Canadian territory. Yikes! But we were anxious to leave the city to a more remote destination hoping to catch the Northern Lights yet again.

Our destination was a territorial park by Squanga Lake which we had seen on our way north and looked like a pretty setting for watching the Aurora.

Squanga Aurora 1Squanga Aurora 6Alaska Driving Day 15 Recap

Road Name: Alaska Highway

Road Type: 2-lane

Road Conditions: Generally good with frost heaves west of Whitehorse

Miles Today: 211

Driving Time: 4:15

Total Miles in Canada: 3090

Total Miles since entering Canada: 5454

We arrived to find the campground almost full, but we got the last campsite that fit our size RV!

Squanga Aurora 5Squanga Lake was quite lovely and it was a clear, still day. There was a boat launch that was a nice place to walk Angel to and was also a great spot for photography.

Squanga Aurora 3And the forecast was for a stronger Aurora Borealis that night than the previous night. Yay!

Squanga Aurora 2Usually, we are on the lookout for the Northern Lights just around midnight. The campground was very forested, so I decided to walk out and take a peek around 11 p.m. And I saw lights beginning to flash across the sky.

Squanga Aurora 10

Squanga Aurora 9Hector and I quickly made our way to the dock and he set up his equipment. I have to mention that Hector does not have the best lens for capturing images of the Aurora. But he was determined. Each of the previous two times that he photographed the Northern Lights he learned something. He is nothing if not persistent.

Squanga Aurora 11Down at the dock a young guy joined us, there to take photographs as well. He was from Whitehorse.

Squanga Aurora 12Thank goodness that we looked out earlier because the Aurora was intense. The lights swept across the sky like billowy curtains unfolding.

Squanga Aurora 13Squanga Aurora 14Squanga Aurora 15Squanga Aurora 19There were vertical, horizontal and diagonal rays of undulating light.

Squanga Aurora 17

The Aurora was above us, next to us, in front of us and behind us. Hector said he needed multiple cameras on tripods.

As we watched, the colors got deeper and more intense.

The movement was swift, yet graceful, it really was like a beautiful dance.

Squanga Aurora 20Ribbons sailed across the sky.

Squanga Aurora 21Pinwheels swirled above us.

Squanga Aurora 22

Squanga Aurora 23Squanga Aurora 31The colors were much brighter than our two previous experiences. There was a bright green and a bright pink as well as white which is supposedly rare. This time the colors in the sky were as intense as the ones in the camera.Squanga Aurora 32

Squanga Aurora 34All we could do was to say WOW over and over. It was incredible.

Squanga Aurora 28

Squanga Aurora 29The Canadian guy also was pretty excited, saying this was one of the best he had ever seen. He was very sweet and made sure not to get in Hector’s camera’s way.

For about fifteen minutes the Aurora danced nonstop over the entire sky.

It was like streamers unfurling on New Year’s Eve.

It was crazy, beautiful, fabulous, spectacular, stunning, amazing and thrilling. And yet there are no words to truly describe it.

Squanga Aurora 30Some of the light took on a shape like a funnel cloud. The whole time dancing around us.

Squanga Aurora 33It was the most dramatic display yet, as if the previous two Auroras we saw were the rehearsals and this one was the actual performance.

Squanga Aurora 36

Squanga Aurora 35Squanga Aurora 43Shortly after this incredible show another couple from the campground joined us by the lake.

Squanga Aurora 37Squanga Aurora 40The moon rose above the horizon, and when she rose the Aurora became quieter and more subdued. But still covered the sky.

The pretty half moon hovered over the lake with soft green lights around it. It was as if the Northern Lights were showing their respects to the moon.

Now that the lights were more subtle, Hector took a photograph of me on the dock. Then we watched as the softer Aurora gently spread out like wings across the sky.

Squanga Aurora 49

Squanga Aurora 52Squanga Aurora 39Squanga Aurora 54Squanga Aurora 42Squanga Aurora 53Squanga Aurora 50Squanga Aurora 48Squanga Aurora 51

Squanga Aurora 56The gentleman that had just arrived offered to take a photo of both of us and used a photography technique called “painting” – his wife used a flashlight to light up the dark foreground (us and the dock) against the bright background. It was not perfect but it was a good attempt.

Then, everyone else left and we stayed a little while longer. We watched the Northern Lights for almost an hour and a half.

Squanga Aurora 57Squanga Aurora 38We were exhausted since we had also stayed up the previous night watching the Aurora.

But we were basking in the joy of having been there when the sun danced with the stars.

~ BrendaSquanga Aurora 55

53 thoughts on “When the Sun Dances with the Stars

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This brings back memories of sitting on my deck wrapped up in an arctic sleeping bag with a glass of wine & my two dogs watching the Aurora when I lived in Northern Alberta. I can empathize with the fatigue; I don’t know how many days I had to drag myself out of bed to make it to work on time due to staying up WAY too late watching the sky. Well worth it!!!! Thanks again for the glorious pictures!

  2. What a fabulous experience and post!! So extremely envious! You do such a GREAT job with your blog!! I have so enjoyed your trip to Alaska. I have shared your posts with so many people and you have been the topic of some wonderful conversations! Thank you so much for sharing! Seeing the Northern Lights is high on my bucket list! These photos are extraordinary!!!

    • Thank you so much! We enjoy sharing very much. You must make it a point to see them, it is one of the best experiences we have ever had.

  3. Thank you so much! Your photography and blog brings one as close as possible to actually witnessing this phenomenom without being there. What great photographs. Thank you again!

  4. Fabulous pictures, thanks so much for sharing. I was lucky enough to see the northern lights in Eastern Washington State in 1970 and have never forgotten the experience. I wish I could have put on film.

    Keep up the great work.

    Steve

  5. It was really worth going back the way you came in. Your experiences with the Northern Lights are pretty amazing and surreal.
    Stunning photos. Maybe we don’t have to back after all, after seeing all of Hector’s captures.

  6. I am completely filled with awe. What an absolutely amazing experience! I can only imagine what you felt while watching the incredible light show in the sky. It blew my mind just to see your wonderful photos!

  7. i think I just said “wow” about 20 times while reading this post and looking at those amazing pics. Can’t even imagine how incredible it must have been in person. Wow!!

    Nina

  8. The beauty of the lights brings tears of emotions to my eyes. As always, many thanks for sharing your experiences.

    How is Angel doing?

    • We are happy to share! Angel is doing great, she is still on medication so we have to test her periodically, but everything was good on her last check. Thank you for asking!

  9. John said today after looking at this post, Hector’s photos are just so good:) And, of course, you both know how I feel! Wow! I can’t believe how beautiful the lights were for you. Boy, they were intense. So glad to read they were this bright for the naked eye. The three colors were amazing:) And the reflections…so beautiful! It must have been hard to leave while they were still lighting up the sky. What a terrific time:)

  10. Stunningly FABulous!!!! The 60’s personified in the sky! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the beauty.

    How did Angel’s appt. go?

    Godspeed. xo

  11. Spectacular! Wow!! I have never seen the lights dance like they did that night!!! And the colors! It must have been in incredible sight to behold. The photos are really terrific. Again, you guys have had ANOTHER once in a lifetime experience!

  12. I can’t imagine what these photos would have looked like if Hector had had the lens he wanted to capture these lights. You are a magician behind the camera dear sir! What an amazing experience and a fabulous way to wrap up your Alaska adventure.

    • It was incredible, Joyce. Angel is doing great, all her test results were good. We just got back to the lower 48 and will have more consistent internet access, thank goodness.

  13. Hello: Found this blog and I recognized your motorhome as well as Angel from the one weekend that we traveled and stayed at Squanga. We were the large motorhome parked by the bat-nursery.

    Lovely photographs and I enjoy reading about your travels.

    • Hi! So glad you found the blog. I think we were quite envious of your campsite there at Squanga Lake. We are a bit behind on the blog, but will be catching up soon on the end of our travels in Alaska and Canada this summer/fall. An unforgettable experience.
      Safe travels!

  14. What an amaaaaaaazing, wonder filled experience … you captured it so perfectly with the photos and your words! Love your blog and have been enjoying your fabulous journey. Hope to meet you someday. The mobile tiki bar is way cool!

    • Hello, it really was unforgettable, thank you! So glad you have enjoyed our blog. I just peeked at your blog and loved it. We are now in Washington about to enter North Cascades National Park, and will then head to Port Townsend, Astoria, Seattle and Mount Baker (not necessarily in that order) and might check out the North Forks campground it looks beautiful! Then to Portland where we have good friends and down the Oregon coast and somehow down to southern California by December. Hope to meet you too!

      • Hi Brenda and Hector –
        Unfortunately the North Fork campground is closed for the season. If you come down the Oregon coast and into Northern California, we found a great forest service campground near the Jedediah Smith Redwood Park on Hwy 199 called Panther Flat (East of Crescent City). Our favorites along the Oregon coast were Nehalem Bay and Cape Blanco…
        If your travels down to SoCal take you past Cambria, there is a State campground just North of us – San Simeon State Park. Unfortunately, our place won’t fit a motorhome, or we’d offer you a spot. Email me if you’re going to be in the area. Maybe we can share a happy hour, etc!
        Aloha – Imkelina

        • Thank you for all of the tips! We met friends who were staying at Cape Blanco last year and loved it – will be staying there for sure on our way south, and will also check out Nehalem Bay and Panther Flat. We may go east of 395, but not sure yet, weather will be a factor. But we will definitely be in touch if we are near Cambria.

  15. Super duper wowee!!!! Magical sky, description, and photos!!! I was right there with you!!!

    So glad to finally be back! I signed up again with my studiodune.com email address awhile back, but never received any posts so finally today I signed up w/my gmail address and now it works. Yay!!!

    Hugs to you!

    • You’re back! So glad! Don’t know what happened because I see rebecca@studiodune.com as a follower, could our posts be going to junk mail? Anyhow, I can check with our expert friends if you would like. Am glad you are getting them anyhow.
      Big hug to you!

  16. I know we are all looking at Hector’s photos on our own devices, me on a Kindle Fire HDX for example, but it’s hard to imagine how what we are seeing of the “Lights” could have been improved by a more suitable lens or filter except, I guess, if they are to be printed. These are just stunning. Can’t even imagine being there in person to witness “the dance”. WOW!!!

    • He worked really hard on the photos the first few times, making a lot of minor adjustments. By the third time we saw the Aurora (this time) he had a pretty good idea of timing and other adjustments. Seeing this in person was one of the most memorable experiences we have ever had – one instance where video might have done a better job of capturing them but I’m sure even then it wouldn’t be the same as being surrounded by those lights. Amazing!

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