There’s a North in Northern Lights

Written by: Rodney Wilson

Friday and Saturday nights gave a lot of folks the chance to see a nice display of Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis happens every couple of months. Sometimes they are brilliant, lighting up the entire sky, and at times on Friday night the horizon was certainly ablaze from west to east.


My first experience with Northern Lights was when our Scout troop was winter camping in the Badlands. It was a clear, crisp, fall night. It had gotten a bit chilly in the night. I had my head covered with the top of my sleeping bag. I rolled over and my eyes would emerge from the sleeping bag long enough to catch the Northern Lights…so brilliant that it almost seemed like someone had turned on a green light in my tent. They put on quite a show that night. I got up from sleeping bag and went tent to tent awakening others. Some were excited, and some were not.
One Scoutmaster grumbled “ain’t you never seen Northern Lights before?

” The answer was emphatically “no, I haven’t, what are they?” There were many cars parked on the side of the gravel roads on Friday night when we headed out, just north of the Minot AFB. Soon, we were watching a display that they say will not be repeated for a while. I hope there were a lot of young people taking in this grandeur evening display. I had to laugh as we passed a car with their hatch open, and kids laying in the back, dressed in their pajamas, and wrapped in blankets. They aren’t called southern lights…they are called Northern Lights, and we are more than happy to share them with anyone who takes the time to venture out beyond the city lights to see them.

Best Kept Secrets
Saturday at Fort Stevenson State Park they will try to put their names in the record book for having the most S’mores being made simultaneously. Where would an idea like that come from? It was probably a warm summer evening. As a Park Ranger did his rounds making sure all was going well in the campsite area, he noticed a lot of campfires, folks sitting around the camp first and those folks were making S’mores. How about it? He probably asked himself if there was some way to put Fort Stevenson on the map. And thus, a great idea was born. Good luck to Ranger Chad and all those who are taking part in this historic event.

Sytttende Mai
Norwegian Constitution Day, or the 17th of May is a holiday we used to celebrate back home in Maddock, ND, where most of the town was of Norwegian descent. Well, except for the Wilsons, we were of German and Scottish descent, but we tried to keep it a secret. So, on Friday wish those who look Norwegian; Happy Syttende Mai.

Sailing Season Is About To Begin
Sailing season you say. Where does one sail in North Dakota? In a state known for little topography, there is a large lake, Lake Sakakwea, where our sailing conditions are absolutely perfect, on most days, for a great sail. In the mornings we wake to the early songs of robins. In the evening, we watch sunsets that some evenings are so beautiful that you wish they would go on forever. The stars will come out, and because there are no lights of the city, they seem to just poke through the summer sky. Get out your app and track the path of the Space Station as it passes over head. Yeah folks, there is a sailing season in North Dakota that albeit short, it gives us another reason to love this great state.

Today’s Chuckle
Into every life some rain must fall, but some people need an umbrella, and some people need an ark.

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