Here’s a photo from an after dinner walk in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was about 10 p.m., the day after the city’s summer solstice festival. Maybe it was a little later, the time settings on my camera were messed up, and my internal sense of time was also not completely functional.
I’d been in Alaska for just over a week, and I felt positively harassed by all the sunlight. It was light when I woke up, and no matter how late I went to sleep, it was maybe starting to get a little bluish outside. My hotel, The Bridgewater, had excellent blackout curtains, but when I pulled them shut I felt like an eight year getting sent to bed when the grownups were just about to get interesting.
I like night. I like dark and stars and the need to turn on the lights. I missed night.
All that sunlight made me increasingly cranky as the trip continued. It was the cumulative effect of not seeing a true night, yes, but it was also that the days were getting longer as a I traveled northward. I’d started in Juneau which was getting about 18 hours of daylight, while Fairbanks was getting somewhere around 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight when I arrived.
I thought longingly of a trip I’d taken to Nome in January a few years earlier. There’d been about five hours of day light, and it snowed and hailed during each of those five hours. And that suited me just fine.