Chasing the Northern Lights

Tonight's view

It is almost embarrassing (okay, it is embarrassing) to say that I am from the state of Minnesota and have lived in Alaska and have still never seen the Northern Lights.

I remember being told to watch for them when I first moved up here. People called me to have me go outside and look. It always seemed like they came out at 3 in the morning on a school night.

Why can’t nature roll with my schedule? Friday nights don’t work because I’m too tired to stay up that late. Weeknights and Sundays don’t work well for me either. Nature, could you make it happen on a Saturday?

Last week, someone showed me an app that I could use to track them. “My Aurora Forecast”.

There was a chance on Friday night. I tried, I really did. I made it until 11:30 and then I was too tired…and needed to sit in bed and read.

The next best chance was yesterday night (Monday to Tuesday 9/10-9/11). There were even articles stating that it would be a fantastic display. Perhaps MN would also see it. I was excited, I would stay up a little past my bedtime on a school night and face the consequences later.


The early evening was clear, few clouds, and a visibility where you could see for miles. (With some serious squinting one could almost see to Russia…if they had superhuman vision.) I was ready.


My plan: Go outside around 11:30 or midnight and take a few pictures and hit the sack. Reading would happen before I went out and then I’d be ready for sleep.

My reality:

8 pm: Fog so thick, I couldn’t see farther than the edge of the rocks.


11:15 pm: a forecast of 100% cloudy as far as the radar could see.

Needless to say, this is being typed at 11:20 pm while I listen to music and question if I want to chance it anyway (the weather can change so quickly) and eat a bedtime snack.


Not likely to be continued until I actually see them…