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The sun apparently threw out a bunch of sun-gunk a few days ago, so the Aurora forecast for yesterday was high. (OK, it was a 4 out of 9, but that’s the best I’ve seen it get since I arrived in Alaska. And the band of green showed that it might be overhead, even as far south as Anchorage.) Since we were out by the airport anyway on Wednesday night—gotta love the post office that’s open until midnight—we stopped by the park that sits right under the planes’ flight path. An Aurora photographer had told us that was the best spot in Anchorage, because you can look away from all the city lights; we figured he’d know what he was talking about. And, I’m happy to report, we did see them. They were really faint, between the moon and the city lights, and they were fairly low to the horizon, but they were there.

So, since they were supposed to be even better last night, we drove north—a bit past Wasilla—to see if we could get a good look. No luck, though. We saw some lovely stars, including the Big Dipper (how Alaskan!), but no northern lights.

Officially, now, we’ve been up past midnight every night this week. The first few nights, we were finishing Christmas gifts. (We’re cutting back next year. We don’t love our families any less, but you wouldn’t believe the time we spent or the amount we spent on shipping.) Then we went to the airport and to skygaze. Then we went to Wasilla. So, yeah. I think we might call it an early night tonight. We’ll be up bright and early tomorrow, to watch some friends jump in a lake (link goes to a video). No kidding. People in AK are crazy. (It’s for a good cause—they raised money for the Special Olympics.)

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December 2010