Chasing the Aurora Again: Race Against the Clouds

Duke Johnson

On March 3, we spend from 1:30 pm to 5:00 a.m. scouting and then later, trying to get away from the clouds. This day we logged over 600 km and it really wore us out! In the end, we drove the 2 hours back to the the edge of Lyngen Alps only to find more clouds. Then we hurried up the road to the Finnish border where we had gotten lost several days before.

The first place we stopped was just about 20 km up the road and we were almost instantly overwhelmed by clouds. We hurried ahead and found a pull-off. I grabbed all my gear and tried to set-up off on the side of the road (about 20 feet) but the snow was very deep. Moving was nearly impossible but I finally got to a place I could set up. Five minutes later, the northern lights quit and the clouds came in.

Up the hill, back in the car (now around 11:00 pm) and back on the road for another 25 km, where we were about 10 km of the Finnish border. There we found a small creek and a hill. While there were about a dozen people in a small tour group on the pull-off, we spent our time down by the nice scenery. No large peaks, but not bad considering the effort we had to go through to get there. This was the only place within a 3-4 hour drive that was clear!

Step through the images to see the progression of the aurora shot at 4 frames/sec. We certainly enjoyed laying on the ground watching it!


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