Turns Out Alaska’s Midnight Sun Was Bad For My Health
How is it that I’ve been to Alaska at least 4 times in the summer months and never seen the midnight sun disappear below the horizon? And last month I finally did!
Did you know that it goes sideways rather than down for a few hours before it disappears for a little bit?
So why was it that I had never witnessed this before? All the previous times I wound exhausted or surrounded by mountains that blocked the view, or both.
The first summer trip my flight was delayed by a day (thanks United) and I was racing the 4 hours from Anchorage to Denali the night before my 6AM tour on only a few hours sleep. I arrived at 11PM determined to stay up, but I fell asleep looking out at the mountains.
Next time I was in Alaska for 24 hours on a poorly timed mileage run. I flew in after midnight, when the sun was no longer visible and left at 11PM before sunset. Incidentally, this was the trip where I went up to Talkeetna to go flightseeing and got pulled over by a state trooper who suspected my mileage run was a drug run.
My next opportunity I had intended to stay up and watch it from my hotel room in the Arctic Circle, but there was the little matter of it burning and I ended up exhausted and dispirited in Anchorage that night in a hotel room facing the wrong direction.
So it was with understandable excitement that I found myself on the Kenai Peninsula last month with the nearest sunset-blocking mountain across the bay. It did not disappoint but it was injurious to my health. I never got enough sleep!
I wanted to stay up to watch it disappear around midnight.
Then I wanted to wake up at 1:30AM to see what it looked like at the darkest part of the day.
And then I wanted to wake up early to try to see the sun “rise.” Every day of my stay!
I don’t regret it, but boy did I need a vacation after my vacation. 🙂
More From This Trip
One of the Best Restaurant Views in North America
National Geographic Moment: Watching Salmon Run in Alaska
Alaska Makes Wine!
Should You See Homer Spit?
Disappointed by the Soldotna Dump
My favorite stop on the Kenai Peninsula
Where to Stay on the Kenai Peninsula
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