by Cherina Hadley
Alaska is one of my favorite wild places. It is impossible to come to grips with the dizzying vastness and the way the landscape changes so dramatically as you travel, the way the fall colours shift with the weather, or the way this wilderness can make you feel so small and insignificant.
Fall comes early in Alaska and explosions of red, yellow and orange stretch for miles. Flying over the 600-mile long Alaska Range in Denali National Park the textures and colors of the landscape are so much more defined and the sweeping paths of the glacier-carved valleys seem to move and curve of their own accord.
In Alaska, close encounters with wildlife are almost a given. I saw my first ever grizzly bear in the wild while hiking in Denali National Park and I swear my heart stopped. Literally.
On our second night staying at a log cabin in Glacier View we had a visit from a moose and her twin calves just a couple of meters from our front door, almost close enough to touch.
And then there are the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights begin as a wispy motion in the sky, almost as if your eyes are playing tricks you. There is only darkness for what seems like hours. And then something changes. The wispiness suddenly morphs into a moving wave of color and texture, and contracts and expands and darkens and lightens.
Every second is different. The Aurora swirls and dances and shift between what seems like a million shades of green. Then as suddenly as it comes, it is gone.
Seeing the Aurora Borealis in the far north of Alaska was so extraordinary and so overwhelming I had to keep reminding myself that it was real. It seemed that in Alaska, I never really knew which way to look first.
The natural world has a way of doing that to you.
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