Planning a Northern Lights trip

Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska
Are Northern Lights on your Bucket List? ✨ If so, maybe it’s time to plan your adventure to Aurora territory.  I’ve been lucky to have experienced them in Alaska, Norway, and Sweden, and now that I’m thoroughly hooked, I would like to add Iceland, Finland, or Canada to that list next. 

Follow along over the next few weeks as I choose one of these places, and then make my travel plans.  Of course I’ll be writing about the whole shebang📝 😊 .

I may be on my own for this one since it looks as if it will be impossible for the whole family to get away together anytime soon.  In a previous post, I wrote about our family experience together seeing the northern lights for the first time. Please take a look at that if you haven’t already. 💚💜💙

So… stay tuned 💫 And if any of you have suggestions, tips, or comments, please feel free to let me know.  Instagram is the best place to find me 😊

Jaclyn

xoxo

Tromsø, Norway
Tromsø, Norway
Abisko, Sweden
Abisko, Sweden
Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska
Follow the journey on Instagram.

Instagram.com/jsf021/

Instagram.com/somethingfortravel/





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Solar Eclipse 2017

Our family–we are all planners, but we generally don’t plan too far out. Usually a month, at most, for a trip. So when we started looking for a place to stay in the eclipse totality zone a half a week before the eclipse, our chances of finding a room didn’t look too good. Never before had I seen every single room booked everywhere.  Online there were pages and pages of completely booked hotels. Still stuck six hours ahead in the Swedish time zone and cranky, my husband and I were awake into the wee hours Thursday morning before the big event searching for a room–any room–in the eclipse totality zone.  Just as we were about to give up and call it a night, one room popped up at the Chestnut Hill Inn in Cherokee, NC.  

Yes!  The price wasn’t jacked up as high as I assumed a room would be, and we could cancel up until the night before our stay. I could barely get my credit card out quickly enough to book it. We went to bed pleased with our triumph.  

But I began to feel a rare dissonance as I fell asleep. Why was this room available?  What was wrong with it that no one else had booked it?  We read the online reviews and it sounded just fine, but still–was it good luck or bad luck?  

My husband said not to worry, that things would work out, and they did. The room was pleasant, and the location perfect. The weather cooperated and all the stars–along with the moon–aligned to make eclipse day perfect. 

One room left at the Chestnut Hill Inn
One room left at the Chestnut Hill Inn

The first thing we noticed just before the moon began its transit in front of the sun were several white cloud-like rays to the right of the sun — some were perpendicular and some were at angles to the horizon. Although not as numerous, they were very similar to the white cloud-like rays we saw on an Alaska trip during the night just before the northern lights made an appearance (see former Northern Lights post).

Cloud-like rays before the eclipse
Cloud-like rays before the eclipse

We situated ourselves under a shade tree on a giant rock to await the eclipse.  Our spot. The moon seemed to be taking its sweet time moving across the sun until suddenly things began to happen at warp speed.  Almost at once, the sky darkened, street lights came on, and the temperature dropped a few degrees. Shadows sharpened then disappeared during totality.  Chills and a shiver of excitement lasted throughout the duration of totality, which was over almost as quickly as it began.  A couple of minutes, tops. Then the moon again seemed to slow as it completed its path across the other side of the sun.  

Moon in front of the Sun during Totality
Moon in front of the Sun during Totality
Diamond Ring just after Totality
Diamond Ring just after Totality

I had been unable to locate a solar filter for my dSLR camera, so the plan was to simply enjoy the eclipse and forget about taking photos, but the photographer in me just couldn’t do that. With my solar glasses on, I located the eclipse in my viewfinder, shut my eyes and snapped away. I ended up with a couple interesting shots, but I still enjoyed the experience. 

Sun's Corona Totality during Solar Eclipse of 2017
Sun’s Corona Totality during Solar Eclipse of 2017

I can’t help but think that the hotel room was meant for us. We spoke to several people who were staying at the Inn, and nearly everyone had booked their reservations at least a year in advance. 

The location made it possible for us to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains and on the Cherokee Indian reservation. We hiked, drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and went mining for rubies and sapphires. I found a ruby that is the perfect size and color for a small pendant. I plan to have a lapidary cut the stone and mount it for me. Not worth much, but the memories will last always. 

Blue Ridge Parkway overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains
Blue Ridge Parkway overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains
Mining in NC Mountains - Sapphires (left) and Rubies (right) Ruby on top right is cutting quality
Mining in NC Mountains – Sapphires (left) and Rubies (right) Ruby on top right is cutting quality
 

How was your eclipse day? I hope it was lovely. If you missed it, there’s another one coming in 2024. 

Maybe I’ll start earlier next time. 🙂 ☀️🌑💫❤️

©2017 jsf somethingfortravel.com

My Ultimate Bucket List – What’s on yours?

Bucket List item:  Get My Picture in the Newspaper 

My Ultimate Bucket List is a book I picked up and added to my list of places to see and things to do. Not only does the book have blank pages for my own list, but it is filled with lots of fun things to accomplish.  The items I’ve been writing about are mostly from the resulting list of completed adventures.

These aren’t in any particular order, but simply in whatever way that I can make them work.  Some are quick & easy; others, not so much –like Start a Blog and Keep it Going for at Least a Year.  Most are related to travel in some way, with a few exceptions 🙂
This is one of those exceptions: Get My Picture in the Newspaper 

Bucket List item:  Get my picture in the paper
Bucket List item: Get my picture in the paper
 Do you have a list of places to see or things you hope to do one day?  Writing it down is often a good first step toward completing something. And know that every good adventure starts with a first step.  #goals 
Here’s hoping you’ll get through your List ✨❤️