Today began very, very early. The aurora borealis forecast was for a Level 4 display, which is very good, so I got out of bed at 01:30, and even though there were no Northern Lights yet, got my gear packed and headed out. The first auroral glow began as I left the driveway just before 2:00. I actually hadn’t planned on being able to get out at all, because the weather forecast was for clouds with possible snow flurries.
My first stop was overlooking the Yukon River just north of the Yukon River Bridge on the Alaska Highway. The lights from Whitehorse made this vantage point unsatisfactory regardless of what the aurora did.
Down to the bridge, but I clearly needed to get much further from Whitehorse.
Facing the opposite direction at the same spot was much better.
Looking northeast, a particularly bright display for 3-4 minutes even blotted out the city lights.
I continued on past Jake’s Corner to White Mountain, which was fairly good.
I decided to try a new location, the Tagish River Bridge (a.k.a. the Six Mile River Bridge). This was shot at 4:19. This turned out to be a truly magical spot, as not only did I get a good Northern Lights viewing spot, there were many swans on the river below, chatting away to each other in the darkness.
Looking down the river. The aurora wasn’t very strong, but the swans more than made up for it!
This shot is pointing just a bit to the right of the one above. One swan can be seen on the river near the ice.
What a truly incredible way to start a day! That’s me in the photo. Hours later, I’m still thrilled by the memory of the 3/4 of an hour I spent there.
Looking up the river, with the moon about to come over the ridge.
Driving along the Tagish Road towards Carcross at 05:22. I had a few ideas for Carcross shots, but none of them worked out for various reasons (the aurora was gone, there was only one swan on Lake Bennett, it was too dark for some shots, too lights for others.
I experimented at this spot for quite a while. It takes a lot of patience to get a vehicle in a shot in this country! This is on the South Klondike Highway, looking back towards Carcross at 06:33. That’s Montana Mountain, looking a lot closer than it actually is due to the telephoto lens effect.
This semi-trailer provided an interesting shot.
I made one final stop at 06:55 to catch the morning light behind me on Gray Ridge.
I was gone a little over 5 hours on this shoot. I went back to bed for 3 hours, and now, with both good aurora and weather forecasts for tonight, am ready to do it again tonight!