I stoked a fire inside while Grant led guests to a viewing spot right alongside the lake. Itʼs a mere minute walk from the cabin making this the perfect location to spend time at. The Aurora was hiding behind a blanket of clouds so we congregated inside. With a fire already set, I sparked our portable gas stove and began taking requests for hot drinks. We had a full menu available that evening, including coffee, cider, and multiple types of tea. We sipped warm drinks and waited for the lights to arrive. We had a Kp-index of 3, meaning if the clouds dissipated we would have an opportunity for great viewing. Unfortunately, we were again thwarted by un-accompanying skies. Nonetheless, we enjoyed each other’s company, hydrated off of hot beverages, and discussed a variety of topics, photography-related and otherwise.
It was now Thursday and we were tipping over the halfway mark of the trip. We offered everyone a relatively relaxed afternoon and met in the early evening for a post-processing demo session. Grant led this session wonderfully showing how to properly begin editing Aurora images. Editing is an extension of oneʼs creative process and is definitely subjective, but there are some tips & tricks for an appropriate baseline edit! This also provided a quick glance into each personʼs work from the week. It was exciting to see images each guest had made, and now they were learning how to distill a different type of life into them. The room was vibrating as we all revisited the emotions felt from two days of great Aurora viewing early in the trip. As these types of activities tend to do, this session lasted an hour longer than we had anticipated. It was time for dinner! We paid a visit to another local restaurant before preparing for a night of driving.
Unfortunately, an unexpected light cloud coverage managed to sweep across the Interior north and south of Fairbanks making for a mundane evening of driving. We decided to turn in early for the night in an attempt to catch up on sleep. On Friday we found ourselves driving to Chena Hot Springs. The road that leads to this resort is notorious for Moose sightings. Because of this, we set out in the early evening, driving slowly along the fabled two-lane highway. Our eyes were glued to the banks of the road and the heavily forested environment. It was the onset of dusk and the environment around us felt closer to where these large creatures might live than anywhere else Iʼve been. Unfortunately, after an hour of heavy searching, we came up empty-handed. The road and surrounding area are extremely beautiful, and we took in and photographed it nonetheless.
We ate dinner at the resort, and after taking a quick look at the hot springs (the following week’s group would take full advantage of the hot springs) drove back to our cabin for the evening. Again I stoked a fire as Grant and the rest of our team moved in for the evening. Once settled inside we all moved outward to the snowy banks that surrounded the cabin.