Arctic Rainbow


The weather changes quickly in the north. We were heading back south down the Dempster highway and had enjoyed bright sunny weather in the North West Territories when we saw bad rainy weather over the border in the Yukon. It was a extremely heavy rain, it turned the road surface (the Dempster highway is a gravel road over 700km in length) into a slick muck almost instantaneously. We were well over 100km away from our next stop ­ a motel room at Eagle Plains ­ contemplating how much longer it would take to get there, when the rain just stopped. We were on the south side of a little river valley, probably the Rock River valley. When we looked back we saw this scene. It was still raining heavily just behind us, and the sunshine we were in reflected off the raindrops giving a particularly intense rainbow.

Even though there was twilight in this area well past 11pm, most plants were in their fall colours. Even though there are many coniferous trees in this picture, they are not plentiful in this area. The river and its small valley had its own little micro-climate quite unlike its surroundings.

A short time afterwards we stopped at the Arctic Circle turnout and talked with some of the people there. Some wanted to go north into the Northwest Territories but were on the verge of turning back because the weather looked so bad to the north. We assured them that there was sunshine just beyond the clouds.