Tentatively scheduled for March 19 – 25, 2020

Join us for a third lighting group trip to Alaska to see the incredible light show, The Aurora Borealis, and to see spectacular Alaska. We are picking the spring equinox – giving us 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. It is also a waning crescent and new moon. That means nighttime darkness to best see an aurora.

Fly from Oakland to Fairbanks. The first four days and nights will be spent at the Mt. Aurora Lodge just outside Fairbanks on top of the mountain where we can conveniently see the aurora at night. See more information about the lodge at www.mountauroralodge.com.

Over the weekend in Fairbanks during the day, on your own and with others in the group, spend time exploring the local sites, restaurants and activities. In the past, we have gone to the Alaska Museum and Planetarium, to the International Ice Carving Competition, saw the start of a dog-sled race, drove to the North Pole (an actual city) to see the Santa Claus workshop and witnessed the Chatanika Outhouse Races. A small airplane ride cross country to the Arctic Circle with a stop in the small remote village of Beaver is awe-inspiring. Time is also available for reading, napping and just plain relaxing at the Lodge.

Monday morning we will move to Chena Hot Springs, 50 miles east of Fairbanks, for a two night stay. Learn more about the site at www.chenahotsprings.com. They offer a wide range of activities, including relaxing in the hot springs – don’t forget to bring your bathing suit! The water temperature in the pool ranges from 150º at entry to 100º at the other end. Also available are dog sled rides, dog kennel tours, snow mobile rides, snow shoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating. Also here is the incredible Ice Hotel. A building made of ice that exists year round! We can sip an “appletini” drink in a glass carved from ice and the vodka chilled rounding down an ice sluice. We will have dinner with the owner of the hotel and talk to him about the geo-thermal engineering power from the hot springs at the site and the hydroponic gardening producing lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs for the restaurant.

To see the Aurora, Chena has a snow coach to take people to a warm yurt at the top of the mountain to view the aurora activity.

For clothing, I find that ski clothes suffice. Long underwear, ballistic nylon ski pants that repel water and wind, down jacket, gloves and a hat fitting over your ears can keep you warm. If you need more, both properties have extra clothing to loan for bundling up to look like the Michelin Man and be super warm! The Fairbanks area is classified as an Arctic desert, the snow is extremely dry, so there is no glopping around in slush and no ice on the roads for slipping and sliding.

To sign up, please email me: Nancy McCoy at nancy@nmccoy.com or call me at 415-382-8578. Trip pricing is being worked on now. It is estimated to be $1600 per person double occupancy not including airfare and car rental at the airport. A $300 deposit will be required to secure your reservation. Deposits will be refundable up to a certain date to be determined in the future. There is space available for a maximum of 24 people on this trip. We look forward to having you go with us on this third trip!!