Monday, February 25, 2013

The hunt for the aurora

When we wandered off the airplane into the velvety black night and headed toward the building of the airport, we were pretty well done. It had been a long day of travel, especially for a mere 2.5 flight hours (I may have mentioned this previously).
Right at the entrance of the arrivals area were several people holding signs for the people they were meeting and bringing to hotels. None bore my name. I started to worry. Terry went to get the bags and I went to find the phone number of the hotel, hoping that our ride was simply running late. I watched a couple of guys hustling into the building and, yep, one had our sign. Huge sigh of relief.

We were at the hotel before 8pm, and the night runs went out at 9:30. During dinner one of the guides came by to tell us the aurora was starting, very faint but you could see something in the sky if you knew what to look for. We abandoned our dinner and ran out, but it was truly faint and we did not know what to look for. But, it gave us hope for the rest of the night.

After dinner was a race to get the tired grumpy kids to bed, which required a decent bit of unpacking to find pajamas and such. For the first time, they did not stay up chatting when put to bed in the same room. They were beyond exhausted.

Terry had gone out with the group with a promise to SMS me if the aurora put on its show. I unpacked as much as possible, organized things and by 10:30pm local time (midnight thirty to my body) I decided I was done.

No sooner had I lay down when the phone started to sing. Aurora! I threw on my coat, boots and hat and ran outside to see what I could see. At first it was nothing much, a faint fuzziness that could have been clouds moving around had the night not been so clear. I texted back that it was here but faint. Then I looked up again and saw a brilliant streak of green move across the sky. And more.

We both got to see the aurora on the first night here ... the rest is just icing on the cake. And what icing!

No comments: