Scenic Route, Fort Smith
A friend and I were out shooting the Northern Lights, and we figured they had just about died down so we drove back home. As I was pulling out of the driveway, I received a call from another friend who told me to “Look up…” I did and my jaw dropped. The most spectacular auroras were lacing all over the sky! Cyans, pinks, blues, greens! I ran back to get my friend, and drove my car right through his garbage cans in a rush to park. I zoomed back up to the window and motioned from the window to come out. He figured I was in trouble or something and came out with a big bat wearing nothing but his shorts and socks. I pointed up and said “Look!” He took one look at the sky and with a yell rushed back inside to grab his gear, not even bothering to dress much more before we were speeding off into the night again. We got cuts all over our ankles and feet from running through the snow once we found a suitable spot within 2 minutes of the house.
Although we missed the grandest display of the colors, we managed to take some good pictures. We were out till 3:30 am and half-falling asleep shooting these lights, we even went out shooting at Salt River, just teetering on the edge of the ravine’s cliffside. It was worth it, and at one point the aurora bleached the sky for miles and miles with her colors and her dance. He took a similar shot with nearly identical gear but even when we were settled nearby each other shooting the interpretation of the lights, while the same set of lights, differs widely. Just goes to show there’s more to photography than having the right gear and being there at the right time!
The scenic route is a small road connecting Hwy5 to main street, first turn as you reach Fort Smith, a small town in the south slave region of the NWT which provides access to Wood Buffalo National Park.