A Little Intuition, A Morgan Spotting, and Another Sleepless Night

Bryndís was already warming up in the driveway and I was going to be taking her out of the driveway to begin tour in just 14 minutes. Then it hits Morgan... "Maybe I should go tonight!". And if there's one thing we've learnt through the blog this year, it's that if you see Morgan on tour with us, you've picked the right night because it's going to take a lot of good data for this lady to trade in her books, candles and cosy winter nights for a cold few hours outside.

Immediately upon arriving into the shallow countryside, greens danced across the sky until the clouds ate us up and the aurora had faded away to the northern horizon. Some 100 kilometres, a few more pieces of gravel off the windscreen from the ice road truckers, and a couple more hours later, mostly clear skies had returned and there was nothing that could be said of what was happening above our heads. It was one of the best. 

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
We Sleep All Day

There came a time where I conceded this would be a mostly sleepless night, and my sleeping would be taking place through the afternoon of the next day.
Was it worth it though? Come on, it's been almost a full season of this blog now - we all know it is. It always, always is.

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
A Feeling You Cannot Picture

Some nights in the -40s feel bearable. This was not one of them.
There are a lot of benefits to going vegan. Losing weight I didn't have to spare in the first place isn't necessarily one of them, not on these nights when a little extra insulation would have been nice.

-40 Aurora Chasing.jpg
Sean NormanFebruaryComment
All Meteorological Miracles Must Come to an End

If the last two nights were any indicator, cloudy skies all day were exactly where we wanted to be by nightfall.
Then as deep twilight set in somewhere around 7pm, the clouds started to break on the horizon, and it all seemed perfect. Until it wasn't. We spent most of our night dodging flying gravel from the ice road truckers along the Ingraham Trail until late, when a brief break in the weather yielded a short dance from the lady straight above.

Sean NormanFebruaryComment

Once again, Yellowknife's weather forecast was leaving much to be desired. The satellite imagery was planting just seeds of optimism. And 24 hours earlier was the dream.

The dream of clouds passing, revealing quickly progressing green arcs. Soon enough, the sky was perfect. Not a trace of flurries or ice crystals falling into our faces staring straight up anymore, and then for hours - hours - greens, pinks and purples didn't stop dancing over our heads. 

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
A Legitimate Scare, the Sore Neck Joke, and Obliterating the Conservative Approach

Candles lit. Our next episode of Survivor ready to stream on the TV, and as I was getting up off the sofa after dinner for another cup of tea, out of nowhere 'Look outside!' my girlfriend calls from the kitchen. I turn and there's a howling cloud of white against the window. Blowing snow so violent it actually startles me. If that wasn't enough to make you doubt the clear skies supposedly just 'right there' to the east, nothing would have.

But just an hour and a half later, I stepped into my driveway to get into Bryndís to make my three stops around town for everyone, already under a few stars. And by the time we got onto the Ingraham Trail, for all intents and purposes, the skies were clear, and the aurora was there, waiting for us, just teasing in the southern sky. 

This wasn't going to be a night of usual. By just 22:30, it was already certain that the whole conservative approach to keeping photos was not possible. 3-5 photos by the end of the night for my personal collection? Lol. 30-50 is where I'm at after a few culls this morning. 30-50 photos I want to keep, and a little bit of a sore neck still. It's usually a pretty solid joke out there, that we'll all wake up with sore necks the next morning from staring straight up so much. But last night by 2am, it was legitimately painful to continue to look straight up.

Of course, I just want to do it all again. Again and again. 

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
Rosy Red Cheeks, Rosy Red Aurora

The wind was out to numb all of our faces, or any exposed extremities last night. And that rosy red colour of our cheeks - perhaps a light frostbite, did match beautifully the aurora. It was a perfect night, and it could have gone to sunrise I'm sure. 

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
Gift Wrapped for Scandinavia

150,000,000 kilometres at 375km/second, and the prediction models of that incoming CME were off by a few hours, in the wrong direction, for us. Forgivable, for sure. And still, although not under the influence of the CME like I hoped, we had a wonderful night with pinks and greens, plenty of dancing above our heads, and today, I get to enjoy the webcams of Norway for something a little more special than usual. 

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
Extreme Cold Warnings and a Broken Record

Listening to a broken record isn't great, but when you can drown it out with the white noise of the car's heater on the maximum strength, it's not that bad. You sort of forget about it, the sounds just muffle together, maybe you doze in and out of sleep a little.
"I think we'll have something in just a little while more" you hear from the front of the car. That wasn't the heater talking again was it, because tell me Sean isn't still on the 'just a little while more' thought. But I was. Just a little while more and we were there.

Sean NormanFebruaryComment
Pleasantly Surprised

Clear skies beginning some sixty kilometres west wasn't the only pleasant surprise of the last 24 hours. Perhaps more surprising than the clouds opening up to reveal a little northern lights last night was an earth directed c-class flare, hopefully arriving somewhere between the 14th and 15th. Welcome to solar minimum.

Sean NormanFebruaryComment