As I Florida girl, I treasure the mountainous landscapes of parks like Glacier National Park. However, Glacier’s Going-To-The-Sun Road was closed on my three previous visits due to early and late snows. My fourth visit was scheduled for the new moon, so I kept my fingers crossed for clear skies and an open road. Miraculously, the storm clouds that had blocked the skies for days cleared on the night I arrived. In fact, the entire night seemed miraculous as we drove up and over the park for what turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience.
One of the first stops was the small parking lot where the Loop Trail begins. We found the Milky Way in perfect alignment with Heaven’s Peak as if we had planned the timing all along. At Saint Mary Lake, the Milky Way arched brilliantly over Wild Goose Island. But the biggest surprise awaited us on our last stop at Two Medicine Lake.
I had photographed Rising Wolf Mountain many times, so setting up in the cold darkness was not a problem. Then I took my first test shot. Red lines streaked across the display and I could not believe that my camera had failed me at such a critical time. I was puzzled when I looked up into the sky and saw in begin fill with color. Then I was struck with awe as realized that I was watching the Northern Lights intertwine with the Milky Way. It was an incredible experience! I call this photo Heaven and Earth.
Nikon D4 with Nikon 14-24mm lens; Gitzo GT 1544T tripod; Arcatech GP ballhead; ISO 6400, f2.8, 14mm for 20 seconds.