If you follow any of the aurora chasing groups or have any alert apps, your phone was probably blowing up by the evening of March 23, 2023, and for a pretty solid reason.
UPDATE: due to numerous comments, texts, messages, and emails I've written a much more detailed and informative article-style blog: Chasing the Northern Lights; an in-depth guide to chasing the aurora borealis in northern Michigan, beginners guide to reading the data (app and group recommendations), location scouting, etiquette and tips to photographing the northern lights.
What a wild, amazing, cold and absolutely breathtaking night Thursday night/Friday morning was! Hands down in the top 5 aurora displays I've witnessed in my entire lifetime, 20 degrees warmer and I could've stayed out all night!
Originally, earlier in the day, I had made plans with my dad and one of my friends to head north toward Lake Superior when she got out of work around 9:30. In the meantime, I grabbed my dad and headed out to Wilderness State Park just after sunset to spend some time together while we waited, see what was going on and so on.
As soon as I parked, there was no waiting. That green haze waved slowly, growing and glowing over Lake Michigan. By 9:30 STEVE was peeking over Venus and the moon and Lady Aurora was dancing high above the horizon and creeping herself south. By 10:30, she was beyond the south as far as I could see and only reaching further, bigger, brighter!
We never made it north, but I wouldn't change the rest of the night for anything. The pulsating, the magic, the way the lights surrounded us, horizon to horizon, dancing directly above us. There came a moment in the night where I was just awestruck and blown away I didn't know which direction to point my camera anymore. So I didn't, I laid back in the snow and watched the sky come alive above me.
If this was your first time seeing the northern lights, you're both the luckiest and unluckiest. This will be one hell of a hard night to top, but man, what an incredible first experience!
Here's to the late nights, earthly magic and all the life it breathes into your soul!