When most people think vacation, it doesn’t usually include standing in -15 degree temperatures at two in the morning with hand warmers stuck in your pockets. But this was on my bucket list – to see and take pictures of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. So my husband and I planned a trip to Alaska in the winter, starting in Anchorage, and then on to the aurora borealis in Fairbanks. Which is where we found ourselves standing on a crunchy, snow-covered hilltop with our cameras on tripods just outside of the city taking pictures and watching the green ribbon change as it created arcs across the sky. You almost forget how cold it is. Almost. Every so often we would start the car and let it run to prevent the engine from freezing. And really the only parts of my body that were cold were my fingers and toes. Which CAN be an issue when you are trying to operate the settings on your camera. But really, that’s not bad considering I’m cold drinking hot coffee during the summer in the south. Thank goodness for polypropylene, expedition weight thermals, down, and a ridiculous number of layers. And seriously, we were standing in the middle of nowhere in ALASKA watching the Northern Lights! We took picture after picture, playing with settings, angles, and lenses. I was using a remote for the shutter release, while my husband’s plugged directly into the camera. The next day we realized the metal froze solid and had snapped off in the camera when he unplugged it. I’m glad that didn’t happen to my fingers. It took some work with pliers to get it out, and a trip to the local camera store for another release since we were heading back out that night with a local photographer. But it was all worth it and I can’t wait to do it again. Just a week later I found myself on a trip in Florida, riding in a convertible in shorts, t-shirt and flip flops, and missing that sub-zero snowy hillside.
More About Our Alaska Winter Adventure:
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