Dec 21: luminary walk, aurora, bridges and a train

I drove to Denali National Park on solstice to take part in their first annual Luminary Walk with my friend Susan. It was about -15F when we arrived, but we did the mile-long walk anyway! There were a lot more folks than I think they had expected and I was surprised at how many came out to ski in those temps. They had hot drinks and a fire going at the visitor center which was nice too. Shooting in those kinds of condition is so much harder than shooting aurora! I got a few photos from the trail and the moon that happened to have a halo around it at the time.

The weekend prior had been a big aurora storm and we were hoping to get the tail end of it, but skies were not really cooperating and we saw very few faint stars due to hazy clouds. WE decided to try to try south of Denali since that seemed a little more likely to have clear skies, but we got as far as Cantwell and decided the weather was just not going to be in our favor so we headed home.

We started to see stars just before Nenana and though the skies were still fairly bright at 11pm due to the half moon and light clouds, we did catch a glimpse of aurora. Then we saw the train cross the bridge over the Nenana River and somehow it pulled a U-turn and somehow came into town just moments after crossing that bridge! I got a couple of neat pictures from that experience too.

Sony a6000, Rokinon 12mm, Aperture Priority


Susan and her coat with a really big ruff! Denali National Park


Murie Center Denali National Park


Gridlock, photographer-style! Denali National Park


Skiing. Denali National Park


Moon rising over a luminary trail. Denali National Park


Solstice strolling on a luminary lit trail. Denali National Park



Denali National Park


Solstice moon halo. Denali National Park


Solstice moon halo and even a couple stars! Denali National Park


Solstice moon halo and signage (I experimented with newly learned dodge and burn methods on the sign.) Denali National Park


Space for Movement Scenery Page Liked · December 23 · Edited · Solstice moon halo over mountains. Denali National Park


Solstice moon halo and the luminary trail. Denali National Park


Solstice moon halo and lots of stars! Nenana, AK


Aurora under the bridge. Nenana, AK And apparently, most of the Big Dipper is above the bridge, above the aurora!


“It’s just a green band.” Aurora under the Big Dipper. (Alaskans can be so spoiled about their aurora) Nenana, AK


Aurora over the train bridge. Nenana, AK


TRAIN!!!!! And a wee bit of aurora to the left…. Nenana, AK


Train goes FAST! Nenana, AK


Aurora over the train bridge. Nenana, AK


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