Aurora Lights Part Two, Reindeer Ranch and Aurora Hunting

You never really understand the power of something till you see it in from your own perspective.  Preparing for this trip, hours were spent preparing and hoping (more like praying) to see the northern lights.  The first time we saw them in Rovaniemi we experienced an adrenaline rush that made you forget that it’s possible you might be getting frostbite!  Thankfully no frostbite and an experience to remember forever! Our expectations were high coming into Nellim.  One of the most photographed places in the world to see the lights.  With one night of disappointment over (our first night here), we decided to go for a walk out on Lake Inari again for a second night in a row.  This night we were joined by our new friends from England.  A really nice couple with the same aspirations as us, stare into the sky hoping to see and photograph the magic.  And magic we saw… As we walked out on the lake, you could notice the faint colors in the sky. We were about 15 minutes into shooting the ‘faint’ green, when out of the blue, the chaos began.  Everything got brighter, streaks of light developed in front of us, then moved across the sky above.  Eventually there were streaks of moving lights in all directions.  It felt as if the sky was raining northern lights literally on us from above.  It was really hard to control our excitement!!  For 20 or 30 minutes we continued to stare in awe, attempting to capture with a camera what we were seeing with our naked eye all around us.  The movement of the sky was mesmerizing! Everywhere we looked there was a different streak going on, it was hard to choose just one and look at it.  It is almost impossible to truly explain what it looks like. We think there might not be any words to describe, just one of those things you have to witness for yourself. Astonishing to think flares released 93 million miles away could produce lights that would send chills through all of us. After calming down from all of this excitement, we walked back for a short break.  Two more times we wandered out appreciating the total darkness gazing toward the starry sky.  As the sky continued to glow, the green rain had subsided.  We enjoyed the remaining remnants of aurora until we were the only people left moving in the town of Nellim.

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Our next adventure in Nellim was the Reindeer ranch! We had to take snowmobiles to get there and Katie was a little hesitant to board another one since yesterdays little mishap. However, it wasn’t going to stop us. We headed out to the ranch through the forests, about 20 minutes or so. We arrived the the ranch to see a little baby reindeer and a bunch just roaming about. This day happen to be one of the coldest we have experienced, negative 30!! It was quite uncomfortable. We made a fire in the hut as soon as we arrived so we could defrost. After that, we got to feed and pet the reindeer. Despite the cold, we truly enjoyed the farm and learning about the importance of the reindeer in Lapland. One interesting fact we learned is that asking someone in Lapland how many reindeer they own is like asking someone how much money they have in the bank. Not polite!  Of course feeding the herd was our favorite!

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fire hut

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feet frozen….

Later that night we had an Aurora Hunt excursion via snowshoes. Around 8:30 we snapped on some snowshoes and headed to the camp. It was a cloudy night and snowing to boot. One thing we have picked up on is the weather can change drastically with a drop of a dime. So even though it was snowing, we were still holding out to see the Auroras.

We trekked through the woods to an opening atop of a hill and built a campfire. Our guide boiled some water and made a delicious hot berry juice!  Soooooo delicious!!  A great way to end another enjoyable day in Lapland!
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it got quite hot during the walk…
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2 thoughts

  1. very interesting that reindeer are somewhat of a taboo subject.. Scott that would be somewhat like someone asking exactly how many beers you have in your refrigerator. alos by looking at you 2 in these pictures i can only guess that when this is over you will be heading directly to key west to get to the warmest spot possible in florida… great pictures and stories… keep em coming… kevin

  2. Kev, Key West sounds perfect right about now… I’m at about my max quota for cold weather this winter! Looking forward to having a few of those beers in Florida in shorts and a t-shirt! It’s been an amazing trip so far, a few more days to enjoy. Thanks for the compliments!

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