The Coldest Place I’ve Ever Visited

February has arrived, and that means that the worst days of winter are almost behind us (even though Punxsutawney Phil suggested otherwise upon seeing his shadow yesterday). Speaking for myself, this has been a mild winter so far, at least by East Tennessee standards. It has snowed just three times, with zero inches of accumulation at lower elevations, and we’ve had nary a day of below-zero temperatures. Even my birthplace of Chicago has been spared its usual 10-week Arctic blast, save for a few exceptionally chilly nights of course.

Still, we’re not out of the woods just yet. February can be nasty cold. It is also said to be the best month for viewing the Northern Lights. It was with this weather phenomenon in mind (the Aurora Borealis, not the cold) that I joined my friend Jules for one long, crazy, February, 2007 weekend…in Barrow, Alaska.

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