Whitehorse, YT

Written by Dustin Manley

Every Canadian should have the opportunity to see the northern lights at least once in their lives. Seeing the emerald aurora dance across the horizon with flecks of wisteria caught in the wind is a life-changing experience. There are myriad factors that determine whether an aurora will appear; simply being north does not guarantee you will see them. I learned this lesson the hard way, having previously traveled to Yellowknife only to be met with a snowstorm and no lights.

On my first night in Whitehorse conditions seemed favourable, but they turn on a dime and didn’t appear. The next night I drove out to Fish Lake, 20km west of Whitehorse, to wait once again for them to appear. Slowly, these microscopic green particles began appearing on the horizon. At first, I thought they were clouds, but they became more verdant and luminant. Soon they were waving across the skyline, beginning at one side of the horizon and ending in the other. They illuminated the pitch-black nightfall and reflected in the lake.

I ask most everyone I meet up north if they ever get used to seeing the northern lights. They never do.

All photos by Dustin Manley. All rights reserved.