While leaving Ashton, ID to head up the mountain to Island Park, ID, I couldn’t help but notice how much light there was along the horizon for such a rural area. There was enough light for a distant city of thousands, spanning from east to west. Michael and I debated for a while if West Yellowstone, MT was big enough to cause so much light, and then if the light might be caused by the moon. The moon did rise in the east, and illuminated the clouds surrounding it, but it wasn’t what was causing the light along the entire horizon.
We continued driving, and then I saw a pillar of light dancing and shimmering to the North West. That clinched it for us. We were watching Aurora Borealis. While there wasn’t much color, and the light was very faint, we could still see beautiful ribbons of light dancing across the sky. I was absolutely amazed and nearly cried at the sight. One of my life long goals has been to see Aurora Borealis, and I finally got to. The most amazing part was how the pillars of light extended up into space. There was no end to them. The light, though faint, was magnificent.
We so greatly desired to keep driving north to see if we could see more colors, but we eventually settled on a field just north of our cabin where we pulled off the road to take pictures. We should have taken more pictures, but being so far south, it was difficult to get a decent picture. The view was amazing, and I am so glad that I got to share it with my husband, who loves this kind of stuff just as much as I do. He saw Aurora Borealis for the first time while on his mission in Chicago, so he was able to say with certainty that that is what we were watching. Plus, we were able to discuss some of the physics behind it, due to him being a physicist and me having taken an astronomy class.