Coldfoot and the Far North - March 2015

Auroras, Ice Road, Ice Sculpture, and Dog Racing

with Jackie and Elston Hill
This is our journal of our trip to Coldfoot, Alaska. The trip included seven nights in Fairbanks and five nights in Coldfoot.
Coldfoot is a truck stop on the Dalton Highway, above the Arctic Circle,  renowned for its aurora viewing. In addition to the
aurora, there were various winter activities including ice sculpture and dog racing.

To view our record of the trip, click on any link below. Or, to view the entire trip, click on the first link. At the end of each page
there is a link to the next page in the narrative.  Our trip was conducted by Road Scholar. Below the links, I have provided
some information for those contemplating a trip like the one we just completed.
Our trip to Fairbanks and Coldfoot was made possible by Road Scholar. This is a great trip and the price is incredibly
reasonable.  In addition to the activities we photographed, there were numerous lectures with local experts. We did this trip in
2007 and it was so good we returned again this year. What I like about this trip is that there is a lot of freedom to roam. The
bus to Coldfoot was spacious. The food was over the top including the truck stop at Coldfoot. Accomodations in Fairbanks
were at the Marriot. The truck stop in Coldfoot is clean and adequate. The genius behind the Road Scholar trips in Alaska is
Kathleen Leitgeb who led our trip the entire eleven days we were there.
Before you go to Alaska to see the aurora, do your homework.

I think my pictures are magnificent. Seeing the aurora is also terrific.  But you should know that the human eye does not see
the auroa as briliantly as the digital camera.

Be sure to dress warm. The biggest problem that I observed on both Road Scholar trips was that some people were not able to
stay outside because they were not adequately dressed. Buy real down jackets. Bring lots of layers. Have adequate covering
for the hands and head..Be prepared to spend hours outside in temperatures as cold as minus 30 F.

If you really want to see the aurora, you need to be willing to stay out all night when the weather is clear. While Road Scholar
does aurora wake up calls, auroras can come and go before you can get dressed to go outside. And there are not wake up
calls for every aurora.

If you are really serious about seeing the aurora, I highly recommend the book,
How to Photograph the Norther Lights by
Patrick J. Endres. This is the book to get even if you are not interested in photography. It goes into great detail, but is written
so well that even I can understand it. It also has information for visiting prime aurora viewing locations around the world. The
book can be purchased directly from the author on line or on Itunes.