Brandon and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary next month (where did those two years go?!) and to celebrate we booked a vacation. My very first all-inclusive vacation, in fact. You probably think we’re headed to Mexico or the Caribbean, right? Well, nice guess. We’re headed on vacation to a less-warm locale. We’re off to see the northern lights in northern Alaska, in the arctic circle in the dead of winter. We know how to have fun, right?
Thankfully the lodge we’re staying at provides all of our food, drinks and warm clothes. (We’re talking intense parkas, gloves, hats, hand warmers, the whole shebang.) They even have Internet in the middle of nowhere!
Come January, we’re off to Bettles, 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle just south of the Brooks Range. (Thanks, Wikipedia.) According to the tour website, Bettles officially has the most clear weather days in the entire state, which means more cloud free nights of opportunity to see the majestic Lights dance in the sky. Bettles is located directly under the Auroral Band, the highest aurora activity in the Northern hemisphere. And it’s located on the Ice Road. Anyone seen Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel? Neither have we but we’ll watch a few before we go.
Seeing the northern lights has been on Brandon’s bucket list for awhile. I’ve heard about them, but didn’t realize how cool they are until we started researching this trip. The Bettles Lodge website (or tourism bureau? Same thing, right?) claims an 80 percent chance of seeing them. Add this year’s ‘solar maximum’ (a flare up that happens every 12 years) to that and a new moon in the dead of winter and were hoping our rate goes up to 100 percent. We’ll be there several nights to further increase our chances. Fingers crossed! We’re also planning on exploring: cross-country skiing, on a dog sled excursion and maybe snowmobiling.
I picked up some books about the Northern Lights today at the library (of course I did, right?) and I’ll start researching camera lenses and cases so we can adequately capture the views in the potentially -60 degree weather. Brrrrr. More updates to come as we get closer. Until then, enjoy these sweet shots of the Northern Lights that I found on Pinterest. Love Pinterest.