Cool Golden light flooded through the glass walls and door.

It's Tuesday at 11:36AM but feels like a tough Monday. We had just gotten back from the Yukon. All 4 of us were in a haze. Half awe-hangover and half sleep deprivation. And even though we were back in Vancouver, we were cupping our warm miso soups in both hands as if we were still near the Arctic Circle.

What a whirlwind. It was only 4 days. It was one weekend. So much went down. There were so many moments. 

And then someone mentioned the way most weekends seem to pass... A different kind of haze.. one that that quietly leads from working late on Friday, to a late night out, to a late sleep, to laundry, to lounging which somehow so quickly leads to leaving for work in a rush on Monday morning.   

How could this much have happened in that same amount of time? We had a hard time listing off everything we'd done and it felt like we'd uncovered a fresh landscape and world we only had a small grasp of 5 days ago. Even though 3/4 of us had already been there.

If you'd talked to to us the Thursday before, none of this was about to happen. Two of us had just come back from the same place, Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada), along with 30 awesome humans from the CS Community that joined us. We had just shared an Idea with a couple awesome people at Air North to chase the incoming geomagnetic storm. The other two of us were literally in the midst wrapping up another week of work and life at home.

But then Friday evening came, and we were sitting in the airport together, all of us stoked not only for the potential of chasing the auroras and catching a geomagnetic storm in full swing, but stoked on the shared vibe of making this weekend into something, no matter what happened.       

 

Awe
/ô/
A feeling of reverential respect and wonder.

The wheels pulled up and we were flying above the Howe Sound, and leaving Vancouver behind (damn it's beautiful from the air). 

Once we got to cruising altitude, the lights in the cabin went down and a green glow came out on the horizon. Pumped. This is what we're here for. Brian already had his camera out, catching every moment the way he does so well, and quickly found a blanket to put over his head so that he could filter out any glare and get a clear look at the storm we were chasing.

I was tired as hell. Still recovering from the previous adventure and half-asleep. Then the flight attendants from Air North came by with a warm cookie and I was glad I was awake for it. Steph was sitting beside me. She'd won the spot we gave away to the CS Community to join. To signup (Friday morning) you had to commit to dropping your weekend plans and meeting us at the airport, ready to rock at 6pm. Badass. She cancelled an important meeting on the taxi ride to the airport. 

We landed late, got a tour of the cockpit, walked out of the airport into the dark, brisk Whitehorse winter air. We checked in at about 12:45AM with a super friendly attendant at the Best Western on Main street. Dev Yukon had been awesome in setting us all up with a place to stay for the weekend.

It's now 1:30AM but we came here for a reason. We packed up our gear and went out to Chase the Auroras. 

Met a local in a Tim Hortons parking lot who Brian had met on instagram, and who was one of the nicest guys. He lead us out to a high-spot above the city.

Nothing crazy. A beautiful green glow. Some Aurora activity. But not what we were hoping for yet.

The next morning we realized that friendly stranger we met was a theme. People on the streets were purposely making eye contact and saying hello. Ha! Crazy feeling to feel like people feel like they have the time to acknowledge each other. 

We hit up Startbucks and met with Phil Gatensby ("Yukon Phil") who is an absolute legend. He's a Native Elder of the Klingit and is the definition of the phrase salt of the earth, while also having this infectious energy that you can see in everyone's face when they are around him. He dropped some stories, cracked some jokes blew our minds and set us on the right tone.

"Create a great trip, okay?" he said. Roger that. 

 

 

 

We were leaving late Monday and weren't about to let any minute of this weekend slip.

Over the course of the next two days we hit Miles Canyon just outside of the city. 

Caught sunset on St. Patrick's Day high above Whitehorse.  

Skipped sunrise on Sunday, driving in the opposite direction, half-way to Alaska to Haines Junciton to chase an epic ice cave. Add on a steady 6KM hike uphill to find it and it was worth everything. 

Drove slowly alongside an entire herd of Elk on the side of the highway (until an American-plated car came blasting up behind us on the curb and scared them away.)

We went swimming, all four of us, underneath a wooden railroad bridge in a frozen river in Carcross. We thought the air was cold. But damn did we all feel alive.

Stops along the side of the road everywhere to take in the insane mountain scapes that seemed to get bigger and gnarlier and more impressive as we drove.     

Near-countless coffees between the four of us.

Some unavoidable full-car Karaoke when one person starts belting it. And it seemed one person was always belting it. Starting with Avi and Adele.

The shortest sleeps we felt like we'd had in years. Damn were the first 15 minutes hard in the mornings.

Around people like Avi, Brian and Steph, it's also impossible to get out without laughing until you cry or inhale and choke on snacks.   

The final night

Then the final night came. It was bittersweet. We hadn't been iced-out from the Auroras, but we hadn't really seen a full show like we did on our last community trip. 

It honestly didn't matter though. To any of us. This whole weekend was an unreal time. We not only saw so much but we were out there experiencing it all. Capturing beautiful photos and videos. But also creating memories that none of us will ever forget. We were so grateful to Air North and Yukon hotels for making this happen. 

 Brian was killing the itinerary of incredible places to see all weekend. And he wanted to hit up Fish Lake. It was cloudy though, so we were a little indifferent. We'd seen so much, and had 0 chance of seeing the auroras tonight. No big deal though.

We drove out anyway, up a beautiful windy road for about half an hour, through trees and with the smallest sliver of a crescent moon you can imagine above us, as we climbed above Whitehorse.

We get there. And pull out into the open. The road leads into what feels like the middle of this massive, perfectly circular, frozen, snow-covered lake with a perfectly even low-horizon silhouette of trees all around us. If it weren't cloudy it felt like we were in the worlds largest outdoor planetarium. 

We park. Walk over to see if the lake is frozen enough to walk out onto, and there is full-on Igloo 20 meters out there. What?! It all feels so surreal.  

Avi sets up his camera. Brian gets his time-lapses started, and then we all just share a moment. This is ridiculous. Where even are we? Between the stoke and gratitude, the landscape around us and the connection between us, this was Joy, man. It wasn't a "crazy moment" but we all felt so alive. 

Then we look up and within those few minutes, the clouds had blown away to the south. Holy sh*t. The stars. Everywhere. A fully woven blanket of them..    

And then it did turn into a crazy moment. Just as the cloud cover whisked away behind us, an aurora storm in the actual shape of a hurricane was flowing in, right towards us.

We were speechless.   

In Awe.

The shred of a thought that we were all able to think in that moment, which was the same thought we had in the sushi restaurant that next Tuesday, was "None of this had to happen...."  

But there we were.

Shaken at the core in the best way possible, by an adventure that could have been "just another weekend." 

And it's still here, as a memory for sure, and as a dope story to tell as well. But it feels like something more. Like one of those shiftsthat reinforce the fire inside to chase life.

To make things happen. And to also let go of expectations all along the way, because if you do, you not only get to create whatever the hell you want in every moment.

But eerily, it's almost as if life chases you back just as hard. And in one of those moments when you've let go - it will crash into you with everything you've been searching for.

One of CS's main beliefs is that life isn't waiting behind a "vacation" or some goal we're chasing way out into the future.

This trip wasn't far and foreign. It required one vacation or "health day", a couple friends, a $400 return ticket with an extremely human airline, < $100 for a shared rental car and gas, a sacrifice of a little sleep (not 100% necessary) and the most key - a willingness to dream something up and go for it. Or to say yes and make it happen if invited to go. 

10/10 Worth everything.