Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

What Minnesotans do on a balmy winter day January 20, 2014

SUNDAY BROUGHT A WELCOME change in weather with an abundance of sunshine and temps reaching nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit here in southeastern Minnesota.

It was a glorious day.

Following a country road Sunday afternoon somewhere northwest of Faribault.

Following a country road Sunday afternoon somewhere northwest of Faribault.

So after my husband had finished repairing a friend’s dad’s snowblower, we set out on a Sunday afternoon drive along back country roads northwest of Faribault. Oh, how I love a drive in the country, camera in hand, shooting scenes from the passenger side of the car.

And, yes, prior to departure I cleaned the salt-grimed car windows, a futile effort as the windshield was soon spotted with road spray. Temps weren’t quite warm enough to roll down the front passenger side window to take photos. No, we can’t always stop for photo ops or we would never get anywhere.

Anywhere was our destination. We both are suffering from cabin fever, the trapped feeling that afflicts Minnesotans when the winter gets too cold and too snowy for too long. Such is this winter. Today, after a one-day reprieve, we are sliding back into the deep freeze.

But we had yesterday, a gloriously warm and sunny Sunday. For that I am grateful.

Sunday proved a perfect day for this family to ride their horses.

Sunday proved a perfect day for this family to ride their horses.

These Minnesotans preferred driving their snowmobiles in the ditch along a Rice County Road.

These Minnesotans snowmobiled in the ditch along a Rice County Road.

A few miles further north, other snowmobilers

A few miles further north, other snowmobilers parked next to the old school in Millersburg and walked across the street to Boonie’s Bar & Grill.

While some played, others worked. This guy prepares to saw wood along a rural roadway.

While some played, others worked. This guy prepares to saw wood along a rural roadway.

Back in Faribault, another man cut wood.

Back in Faribault, another man cut wood.

And we ended our drive with a walk along the snowy trails at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.

And we ended our drive with a walk along the snowy trails at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.

Fresh tracks showed us that others snowshoed and skied through the nature center.

Fresh tracks showed us that others snowshoed and skied through the nature center.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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