I used to joke with one of my friends that the Northern Lights weren't real, because neither of us had ever seen them and it just seemed a little far-fetched that colorful, floating lights show up in the sky. Once we even drove up to a Dark Sky Reserve in BC on a Thursday night because there was supposedly a solar storm that would make them extra-bright. But alas, a three hour drive and several road-snacks later, we were on top of a mountain at 2am with nothing but a view of the Milky Way. It didn't suck, but after that night we kept up the joke that they don't actually exist. 

So when I heard the Northern Lights were supposed to be visible in the US, I was skeptical. I was absolutely planning to go somewhere to try to see them, but if I'm being honest with myself, I wasn't expecting the trip to be successful. I briefly considered driving into the North Cascades (Diablo Lake Vista would've been a dream), but my recent bout of COVID made travel a poor idea. So, with that in mind and my boyfriend in-tow, I decided to just head up the road about 10 minutes to one of my favorite local spots - Wiser Lake.

It was hard to tell what we were looking for on the short drive; it's just off of one of the most-lit roads in Bellingham, and it had only been dark for about an hour. But once we pulled into the parking lot, got our cameras and tripods set up and aimed them at what looked to be a cloud of smoke, our cameras could see what we couldn't yet. 

Over the next two hours, they only got brighter and brighter, until we could see the greens and pinks reflecting off of the lake's surface. 

The Northern Lights certainly didn't look like this to the naked eye, but we were both giddy every time we looked into our viewfinders after snapping a long-exposure photo. The Northern Lights are amazing on their own, but the Northern Lights over Mt. Baker?! There were no words. 

Even a local weather reporter was taken aback at how strong these were, comparing them to his past sights in Alaska and Iceland. 

So I guess that settles it. Sorry, Liz, the Northern Lights are definitely a real thing.