The flight home from Shanghai to Boston was over sixteen hours in duration. Not long after the dinner meal the cabin lights were dimmed and the passengers settled in to sleep. It was nine hours into the flight and most everyone on board had been asleep for about six hours. All the window shades were drawn and the cabin was dark. A glint of light caught my eye. It was creeping in from a tiny slit at the bottom of the window shade that I had not fully closed the night before.
My curiosity was greater than my need to protect my fellow passengers, or my wife, from being zapped by a bright shaft of sunlight. I opened the shade slowly, an inch or so at a time, as if to inoculate the rest of the dozing travelers. About a third of the way up I realized a spectacular view was unfolding. The early morning sky was nearly cloudless and the view was unlimited. I switched on the in-flight map screen and was made aware that we were somewhere over the Alaska Range. My Canon ELPH was close by and I began shooting and shooting until the balance of its memory card was full.
A few window shades were opening while I was capturing this natural wonder, and eventually all the shades were lifted, but by then we were well past the mountain ranges of Alaska and Canada. My carelessness in not closing the shade fully allowed me and my wife to partake of a once in a lifetime sight. We are blessed! -mjb