I was looking forward to an evening of spectacular aurora borealis last night. Early in the evening I got an email from aurorawatch.ca signalling an impending storm. Sure enough when I visited the website aurora activity was already listed at high.
With our days quickly lengthening at nine p.m. there was still a blow in the western sky. I figured that by the time I got far enough from Edmonton that the city lights wouldn’t be a problem it would be completely dark and off I went.
While driving one eye was on the road and the other on the darkening sky. There was a smattering of clouds hanging around and my hope was that they would disappear.
Twenty minutes later I stopped at the side of the highway next to a couple of old Ukrainian churches. Grabbing my gear I made my way toward the churches, took a few pics and to my dismay there were lots of clouds obscuring a green glow to the north so back into the Rav I hopped and made my way north in the hopes that things would improve.
Twenty more minutes later and I was off the highway and onto a half frozen, half muddy road in a wooded area with no farm houses in sight. This was a road that I hadn’t travelled before so it was all new to me. As I drove I found the road to be frozen and then muddy and then rutted to the point where my little Rav was getting thrown from side to side in the ruts. I pushed on the four wheel drive button to engage the front wheels because now my fear was getting stuck in the mud and not knowing exactly where I was or if there were even any houses close by should the Rav get stuck.
Northward the Rav and I continued. Thick brush lined the winding road with only glimpses of the night sky. Damn I though to myself, why did I take this turn? Not being able to safely turn around I continued on until the road straightened a bit. Ahead was a hill and a green glow. It was dry enough on the side of the road to safely stop so I pulled over, grabbed my gear from the back and snapped away. Clouds. More clouds and not very well defined northern lights.
Back into the Rav and ten minutes later I could see the lights of a farm yard and then another and another. Whew! A few miles/kilometers east to a well travelled gravel road and then south to pavement.
Not a great sky but an adventure. Life is about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes photography is like that.