Land of the Midnight Sun

We’ve all heard of it — the sun doesn’t go down in the far north during the summer months — but living it is another thing.

The truth is, the sun *does* set, at least south of the Arctic Circle, but not so far that the sky gets dark. Those twilight hours — the time when the sun is just below the horizon, but close enough that its light still covers the sky — last so long that it seems that the sun is up all night.

Each night we hung black towels over our bedroom windows (the side windows anyway) and at each RV park Bob taped a silver sun shade to the back bedroom window. These kept much of the light out. Even so, it took some adjusting. I’d convince myself it was like taking a nap in the late afternoon and that usually worked.

Photos rarely capture most amazing phenomena, but here’s an idea of what “the midnight sun” looks like. Here’s an untouched photo out one of our windows while staying at the Hart D Ranch in Slana:


The photo was taken at 2:28 a.m. (Alaska Time) on July 1 — it’s rough, and you can see the little red dot from my flash alert, but you can also see how light the sky is — like late afternoon. And this was more than a week after the summer solstice!

Local Alaskans told us they get a lot done on these long summer days, and we could see why: we found ourselves staying up longer than usual — though we tended to sleep in a bit longer to make up for it. (Me? Sleep in?!?? Noooo…..!)

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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2 Responses to Land of the Midnight Sun

  1. Pete says:

    And the reverse is also true.. Much less gets done in high winter and I do sleep longer.

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