Last lights

Last lights

It is our last night of the trip, as we have arrived near our take out point about a day early and expect to be picked up in the afternoon, rather than the next morning.  After spending a day within the Noatak Preserve I am not particularly interested in staying longer.  The land is flat, featureless, and lacking the many details I had enjoyed upriver.  But my nightly routine takes me out of the tent just before two, and I look up to see one of the more spectacular aurora displays of the trip.  Fortunately, I am ready for it.  My gear is a bit more reluctant as this also happens to be the coldest night of the trip.  As with the other nights, though, the lights fade relatively quickly after I capture a few images.  I have to wonder … am I really hitting them at their peak, or have the displays been brighter, and I am actually catching them on the downhill slide?  I can never know, but am still happy to have finally had the chance to photograph the aurora out in the backcountry.

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