It is not too often you get the opportunity to experience something in your life that while it is happening you know that it will be forever etched into your memory. This past weekend a dozen friends ventured to a friends cabin at Nemeiben Lake, located north of La Ronge, and were given a galactic treat.
Nemeiben Lake is located in the Boreal Shield, an ecozone characterized by its rocky outcrops and dense boreal forest. This forest stretches for miles in the north of Saskatchewan. Access to the cabin requires a 30 minute boat ride from the provincial park dock, giving us the chance to get off the grid for a little while. What makes this cabin even more special is its remoteness and its lack of light pollution. It is an unforunate rare experience nowadays to find somewhere in the world where you can't see the lights of humanity. Up in the middle of the forest you are given the opportunity to stare endlessly at the millions of twinkling stars that make you think deeply about your place in the world and the universe. Nothing melts the stress of your life away more than staring at the vastness of an unspoiled night sky.
On the Saturday evening we were given a light show that was better than anything I have ever seen. The sky erupted with the Aurora Borealis that stretched from horizon to horizon and lit up the dark forest. The bursts occurred directly overheard where we saw green, purple and red hues of light dance and mix in the atmosphere. Each burst built on the previous until the point that our entire group cheering and yelling uncontrollably at what was transpiring around us. We couldn't believe what we were seeing as the sun stretched its rays around the poles ending its journey directly over our heads.
A view like the one we experienced could only be achieved by sitting in total darkness. We as a species often run from the dark - a well founded evolutionary trait for survival - but if you are willing to get past that uneasy feeling that creeps up your spine from total darkness you will treated with a universal perspective. Make it a goal to spend one night a month away from the glows of the cities and towns and you will discover one of my favourite ways to evaporate stress and realign perspective on what truly matters in your life.
These are a few shots from that night and just a taste of what we were able to experience.
If you have a picture of the northen lights share them with #saskhiker on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.