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The Chulitna River was flowing in mid-October... and so were the auroras. Perching all night long on top of the new and improved South Denali Viewpoint (near MP 135 on the Parks Highway) is a bit more challenging than in the "olden days" when there was a drive-up overlook. Today, an even better panoramic view is the reward for those who venture up the quarter-mile hill to take in the grandeur of the Alaska Range.
After waiting for about five hours I was busy climbing up and down the hill to generate heat when the auroras decided to warm up the night. Around 3am a dynamic duo of bright aurora bands electrified the sky above moonlit Mt. McKinley (aka Denali - The High One, The Great One).
The northern lights were green in color, the sky a midnight blue but the depth of this night was made for black and white and sepia tones. The contrasting elements of water, earth, stars and sky complemented each other in shades of boldness.