Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. ~ John Muir

Shock and Awe

Friday evening turned out to be one the most thrilling nights of my life, as well as David’s.

I received a text message from David that afternoon regarding an aurora borealis storm that was predicted. I was excited! I wanted to get home, get my batteries charged and get a small nap in before the highly anticipated adventure. David briefly looked outside our bedroom window around 8:30 p.m. and the aurora was already making a beautiful appearance. We immediately got our gear into the SUV, our warm winter clothes on, and ventured out into the darkness to see what the crystal clear skies would show us.

The drive on the Glenn Highway made me think about the many road trips I’ve had on this curvy and hilly stretch.  Far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you are surrounded by grand mountains, beautiful lakes and pristine landscapes. The area that spreads out around you on a clear winter day, is entirely different at night. The darkness blankets everything around you. But overhead the stars whirl as you dip around each corner, past the invisible rivers and towering mountains.

On a beautiful crisp winter day, you pass by King Mountain as it towers over you. Trickling water from the Matanuska River flowing along the side, and wildlife making its appearance when they want to.

Night time is something to be prepared for. When the skies are perfectly clear, stars fill the black void. You can even see the Milky Way when you’re looking within the right angle.

David and I stopped just a few miles beyond Matanuska Glacier. The skies were glowing green and a subtle yellow. We knew this was the beginning of a good thing.

No more than 5 minutes after getting our camera gear set up the skies were set on fire. I was simply in Shock and Awe. It was amazing watching the ripples of light dance across the sky above us. The waves they produced were so magical. Colorful bands swirled across the darkness; they were bold and soft at the same time. While standing behind my camera I carefully composed and adjusted my shots. The result? NAILED IT! I was ecstatic! I kept shooting multiple angles, trying to include the mountainous landscape. In the end I produced some of my best images.

Being in Alaska has brought me happiness in my newfound life. David has opened my eyes on being adventurous and living life to the fullest. I have really enjoyed being out in some of the most pristine landscapes, mountains ranges, beautiful wildlife and now the Northern Lights.

This is an experience I wish everyone could witness in life. You must put this on your bucket list.  Seeing the aurora borealis in Alaska is a magical moment that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy these images from my Shock and Awe journey…I hope you enjoy them, as much as I did capturing them.

More to come soon and until next time, keep smiling!

Aurora Borealis - Glenn Highway

Aurora Borealis dancing across the sky along the Glenn Highway.

Aurora Borealis - Chugach Mountains

Brilliant aurora rippling across the sky, and illuminating the Chugach Mountains.

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4 responses

  1. Hey, Jena –

    First, congrats on surviving the car ride! Has Dave replaced the door handle yet? ;^D

    Lovely images above – I look forward to seeing more.

    So glad you’re enjoying your new life/adventure in the AK!

    – Jack

    February 10, 2011 at 6:32 AM

  2. Tammy Haverkampf

    Jenna, These pictures are breath taking!! I use to work with David at the Eye Clinic and have been following his work since he left. You have an amazing guy!! You also have an amazing talent with your pictures. Keep them coming! :)

    February 10, 2011 at 8:50 AM

  3. Taylorsoutback

    Jena – you did NAIL it – what fabulous photos!
    Sending you a big hug of congratulations!

    What a weekend – the Super Bowl win & those aurora shots!!!!!

    February 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM

  4. Jess Mitchel

    Jena,
    These photos turned out awesome! Thank you for sharing!!!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

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