A lot of famous baseball players (before they got to the majors) played for the Alaska Goldpanners - including Hall of Famer (and former New York Met) Tom Seaver. Watch him get the last out in the 1965 Midnight Sun game and see if you don't get chills. I do. Repeat after yourself: this is near midnight. This is near midnight. Time for my annual and eternl obsession with....(Please be sure to read the update at the end of this post).
Eternal Sunsets of the Spotting Mind(from one of my early blog posts.)When I was growing up in the Bronx,I used to have dreams about living in a place where the sun never set. In these dreams, sometimes the sun would set, but it would be very late at night. I would gaze out my window at 11pm (in my dream) and it would still be light. Sometimes, though, it was dark all the time. I would look at the stars, and they were different. This would, for some reason, frighten me.
When I found out that there were, indeed places which had 24 hour light and 24 hour dark depending on the time of year, I began to wonder about what it would truly be like to see the sun at midnight, or experience total darkness.
As an adult, I haven't had that opportunity (either way) except through the Internet.
Last year, through Eternal Sunset, I tracked a location in Antarctica and a location in Fairbanks, AK for an entire year. However, neither location has the true 24 hour swing - Fairbanks, for example, has a maximum daylight time of 21 hrs and 45 minutes (approximately.) They do have 24 hour "light"on the day of the summer solstice but the sun does set.
Now, I have, again through Eternal Sunset, found an actual 24 hour web cam location - in Norway. Svalbard and Longyearbyen, to be exact. Right now, as I write this, it is almost midnight. The sun is right on the horizon. The web cam is pointed at it. It is 28 degrees above zero, snow on the ground, and several people on snowmobiles are clearly visible. I wish I could be allowed to post a picture from this website. This is a childhood dream come true. What is it like to live there?
There are photos of this area, and stunning would not begin to describe it. What does the person who runs this website do for a living? Does he sleep at all during the arctic day? Has he ever been to more temporate climes? If so do our days and nights seem weird to him?
One day I will sign his guestbook, although I'd better not tell him about my obsession with the Midnight Sun. Some things are better left unsaid.
(2013 postscript - I follow a blog written in Fairbanks, AK. The blogger, Sue Ann Bowling, is participating once again in the Word Count Blogathon. She has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is waiting for the pathology tests to come back. Please drop by and send some good wishes her way.)