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Travel Home :: 2000 :: 2001 :: 2002 :: Best-Of Photography ::

One lifelong ambition of mine has been to see the Northern Lights. I remember my first realy sighting being on a plane heading back to Portland in 1998. I saw them once more on an extremely magical night later in 1998. Each time, though, they were single events — times when I saw them way out in the distance, magically. 

Northern Lights - 1
Moon and Northern Lights

On my April, 2000 trip to Alaska, I happened to be in the right spot at the right time. I happened to be in Alaska on near solar max complete with one of the season's largest solar flares, and I happened to be just about as far north as I have ever been in my life. What resulted was a most amazing, surreal, incredible, inspiring show of pure natural radiance that will burned into my retina for my entire life.

And while I was there, I heard wolves howling and moving around my location. Their howls gave a faint - only by comparison - aural sound to the massive aurora spectacle my eyes were witnessing. 

During the course of the three hours I stayed out, I witnessed all different collections and types of Northern Lights. Over any span of 15-20 minutes, no sky was left untouched. To the east I saw two deep colored fingers flaming vertically from a horizontal line, dancing back and forth towards and away from each other over a distance mountain range. To the west, I saw wispy shades of green dancing as if wind had gained a visible element. To the south I saw a very near hot spot of electric activity so bright it washed the dry streambank where I stood breathless with a green glow that overpowered the nearly full moon. The fire from this hotspot rose above me, floating through the big dipper and then all the way around to the north side of me, like a massive astral fire consuming the sky's oxygen and leaving me breathless. 

Northern Light Smoke Rising
Northern Lights Streaming from me

At one point the whole sky lit up directly above me, and I could feel and tangibly see the electrons streaming out from the very spot where I stood. I have never felt such a tangibly massive state of being before; it was as if the entire sky streamed out from my fingertips as I stretched them out above my head. It was as if I was physically touching the big dipper through the stream of energy splaying out from my body.

Look closely at the picture to the left and you should see the big dipper. 

The whole experience easily fits into the top 5 nature experiences of my life, alongside the Cliffs of Moher experience in Ireland.

That is all I will write on the subject. Talk to me if you wish to hear more. These pictures do not do it justice, and the scans of the picture do it even less.  

Northern Light Wisps
My car lit by the Lights
More Smoke
A Single Stream
The Two Dancing Fingers
A Hotspot

(c) Geoffrey Peters,, 2002. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
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