I dropped my truck into first gear as I slowly chugged up the semi-narrow and winding road to Atigun Pass. It looked like avalanche country. Ten minutes later I was standing on the continental divide in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska.
Gazing north into the moonlit October night my sense of awe grew strong as I took in the entire grandeur of the valley before me. It was a perfect U-shaped valley, carved out by an alpine glacier several millennium before. I slowly descended into it and camped out for a week. Every night I celebrated the moonrise as it illuminated the snow-covered topography, and on some nights the aurora would join the escapade. To me, this was photogenic paradise. On one particular night a rippling arc of aurora broke out overhead as the full moon centered itself in the southern sky. The natural symmetry of the moment was exhilarating, and I can easily remember that wonderful feeling of standing there, so small, in the enormity of the "Valley of Light."