From that first weekend forward, back in February of 2011, I was rapidly becoming the best packer of a 22" Tumi suitcase that fit snuggly into Boeing 737 overhead bins. The empty space on the second page of my iPhone home screen quickly filled dozens of weather apps and space weather information pages and apps methodically organized into folders. Over the next several years as my work schedule at the airport allowed, once or twice each month through the fall, winter and spring, my alarm would sound repeatedly at 5:45a getting me up and out of bed, to walk my suitcase - which I had now learnt how to stuff with my tripod, camera equipment, parka, insulated winter boots along with other pieces of insulated winter gear, through the airport to where I'd board Westjet flight 108 with service up to Yellowknife. Weekend after weekend in trips ranging from just a single night to upwards of a week, it was becoming increasingly more difficult returning home to Vancouver with each one. Weekends of exploring forested islands in the middle of Great Slave Lake, appreciating so much of the beautiful local handicraft through old town, enjoying dinners with wonderful friends at our favourite local restaurants, and eagerly awaiting nightfall to begin chasing the northern lights out onto frozen lakes outside of the city lights was becoming all too familiar.
It was now, from my little studio apartment in Richmond, BC, that I was watching AuroraMax live so many nights feeling legitimate waves of anxiety rush over my body being in a city physically so far from the aurora (mostly), and the whole of Yellowknife, that it had become increasingly obvious the dream of which was born years earlier while in Norway. Time and time again - no matter how often, or for how long of an evening it had been, staying under and photographing the northern lights was never something I was ready to be home from, regardless of having chased, enjoyed, and photographed the aurora some dozen times over the last couple years in Vancouver itself. Then two trips, totalling a couple months through Iceland really locked the feeling of this up for me. I found myself staying in inspiring guesthomes through Iceland, meeting other couples - talking to them about the northern lights, helping them see it... This was all the best feeling in the world, and here we are now, some four years, and few dozen trips, from that very first ever experience of Yellowknife.