Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Sunday drive to view the fall colors in Sogn Valley October 4, 2011

A colorful hillside in the Sogn Valley area of southeastern Minnesota.

MINNESOTANS, THIS is your week.

Get outside. View the fall colors. Experience rural Minnesota at the height of harvest. This could be our best week, weather-wise, until next spring. Not that I’m trying to forecast gray skies and cold and that dreaded word, “snow,” but I’ve lived here long enough—55 years—to realize you should “make hay while the sun shines.”

I took my own advice on Sunday when the husband and I went on a fall color drive to the historic agricultural Sogn Valley area of quaint farms and wooded, rolling hills in northwestern Goodhue County.

We originally planned to paint a bedroom ceiling Sunday afternoon. But then, when a friend asked if the ceiling needed to be painted that day, we decided the project could wait. The afternoon was too beautiful to spend indoors with our eyes focused toward a ceiling instead of upward toward clear blue skies accented by the changing leaves of autumn.

So, just to offer you some visual encouragement to do a fall color drive or go for a walk this week, here are some photos I snapped on that Sunday drive.

We followed this gravel road, 20th Avenue, between Goodhue County Road 9 and Vang Lutheran Church.

Along 20th Avenue, I spotted these picturesque farm buildings.

I photographed Vang Lutheran Church across the cornfield west of the Potpourri Mill Log Cabin 10 minutes north of Kenyon or 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities.

An autumn-themed setting greets shoppers at the seasonal Harvest Thyme Craft Show at the Potpourri Mill Log Cabin, 2290 Goodhue County 49 Boulevard, Dennison. Remaining weekend show hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. October 8-9 and October 15 - 16.

We were driving westbound on Goodhue County Road 9 toward Sogn.

You'll see lots of old barns, like this one along 20th Avenue, in this historic agricultural region.

Farmers are in the fields harvesting corn (pictured here) and soybeans.

The Sogn Valley area offers scenic fall color viewing in a rural landscape with little traffic. To truly experience the region, turn off the highway onto back gravel roads. Have a plat book handy and a navigator with a good sense of direction, which would not be me.

CHECK BACK FOR more photos from this autumn drive and for a post on Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, a popular fall color destination. The park parking lot was overflowing on Sunday. Colors were spectacular.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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6 Responses to “A Sunday drive to view the fall colors in Sogn Valley”

  1. ceciliag Says:

    ceilings can be painted when it is snowing outside you know… loved that barn in the field.. looks familiar!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      That’s what we thought re. the painting. As for the barn in the field, yes, I loved it, too.

  2. Your pictures are beautiful and remind me so much of home, which is nice because I’m homesick right now. Early October always does that to me. I love your encouragement to people to get outside, and I’m so glad you went for a drive instead of painting the ceiling. -kate

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      If I can ease your homesickness via my photos, then I am honored to do so.

      And the decision to view the colors of nature rather than the color in a paint can was most definitely the correct choice.

  3. Ryan Amy Says:

    Enjoying making my way back through your posts. Stumbled upon this while following a link from some agriculture picture and then to my surprise I saw a round bale and a church I know well. The Potporri Mill Log Cabin Crafts is my mother’s creation on my parents farm. If you have any others posted from around the family farm or the surrounding area, I would love to see them. Thanks, and I am now a follower. Ryan Amy

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Ryan, welcome to Minnesota Prairie Roots. Happy to have you as a follower. To find additional posts from your home region, type “Sogn Valley” into the search engine on my home page. I took a few other photos at your parents’ farm, but did not post them. I assume you saw the October 14 “Sign Junkie” post which includes pix from your mom’s craft business.


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