As this evening’s sky darkened towards nightfall, fading away behind the trees, I found myself remembering a late night on the Yukon River several years ago. We had attended a floorshow at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s in Dawson City and were returning to the government campground across the river via a small ferry. The ferry runs 24-hours a day, so this midnight run was probably nothing out of the ordinary for some of the other passengers, but for me it was magical. I stood on the deck marveling at the scenery bathed in the timid glow not of moonlight, but of the summertime midnight sun.
It wasn’t my first exposure to it. There was another midnight when we camped overnight in a pullout on Alaska’s Top of the World Highway, waiting for the morning opening of the border crossing. Our travelling companions still joke about seeing me wandering outside our trailer in my nightgown carrying a newspaper just so I could say I had read in the light of the midnight sun.
There is an enduring mystique about the north nurtured by tales of the Goldrush, of pioneering spirits in a lonely wilderness, howling wolves and visions of the aurora borealis. These aren’t what I remember most about my summer visits. It’s “the whisper on the night-wind”* and that glow emanating from just behind the hilltops as we crossed the Yukon River at midnight.
* Robert W. Service
4 thoughts on “Remembering the Midnight Sun”
Oh….let’s go back!!!!
Heather, I’d go in a heartbeat! How ’bout next summer… we could make it a caravan?
Oh stop. You’re making me “homesick”. Of course, ocean=home to me much more than the north does now, but my nostalgia for the place runs deep. Which is maybe why my WIP is set north of 60…. 🙂
“They” say you should write from your heart, so there must be a bit of yours left up there, Shari. As a setting for your WIP it will certainly be familiar to you.