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

 

22 Responses to “What Minnesotans do on a balmy winter day”

  1. I love your pictures. One can almost hear the sound of horse hooves scrunching on the snow, the chain saws whining and the snowmobiles roaring. So glad you got to enjoy a day of warmth and travel. You’ll always have those lovely memories to sustain you until Spring returns.
    .

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    A “balmy winter’s day” in MN!!!! Yup, that’s what it was. Got home from church, DH headed to the woodshop (a.k.a. garage, which was nice and warm thanks to passive solar/sun coming through windows heat!!) and I to my sewing machine. But just for a little while til the football play-off game began. Then to watch that/snooze a bit for the rest of the afternoon. DH and I haven’t succumbed to the “cabin fever” malady and really didn’t feel a need to experience the afternoon on the other side/outside of our West-facing bay window!!!!! Truly a gorgeous day!!! I have said it before (I think), I grew up with Sunday afternoon drives……the whole family in the car, off on an adventure of unknown destination……with an ice cream cone treat somewhere!!!! Sigh…..

  3. Nice to get outside and shake off the cabin fever – Great Captures:)

  4. Jackie Says:

    I’m glad you and Randy were able to get out and about Yesterday, Loved your photo’s which revealed that a lot of people were out enjoying the day as well. I agree it was a lovely day for January in Minnesota! With that being said, you know that most any winter day is fine by me, watching the pretty snowfall this morning from my living room window.

    • There were other things we should have been doing, but they’ll get done. We needed this drive. You know the feeling.

      Snow was falling here earlier, but has stopped for the moment. I need to adopt some of your positive attitude toward winter. Yesterday was an attempt. More images coming from that country drive on Tuesday.

      • Jackie Says:

        It’s been snowing off and on all day here, right now big snow flakes and oh…so pretty. Looking forward to what more you have to show us 🙂

      • Still snowing off and on here, too, Jackie. I bet you’re loving every minute of this weather.

        What I really want to find is an old corn crib like the one you have on your header.

  5. Oh, these photos make me think of my dad, who took drives on Sunday quite often. He would get restless, winter or not, and off we’d go to wherever we could get to in an afternoon. Those afternoons often bled into the evenings and we’d come home late, having stopped at some cafe somewhere. We didn’t take cameras with us then – my mom reserved the camera for the official family vacation because film and developing was expensive – but we certainly enjoyed the views. Aren’t we lucky to have digital cameras now to feed our photography habits in a completely different way? Sometimes, though, I find ways to go for drives where I have no camera. Just me and the road. There’s something about that…..

    • That you had that experience of Sunday afternoon drives certainly feeds your talent as a writer, don’t you think? My dad would take us for Sunday afternoon drives sometimes, too, to look at the crops. We never ventured all that far from home. But yet it was a get-away for a few hours.

      Yes, we are fortunate to have digital cameras. I seldom leave mine at home, but sometimes force myself to do so.

      More Sunday afternoon drive images are coming tomorrow.

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    I love how you say it was a warm and sunny day! Hysterical! But I know what you mean and it must have been so welcoming to have a day where you can get out and about after being stuck inside for so long avoiding the cold. And everyone feels better when there’s sunshine! I love the image of you walking along the path in the fresh snow between the rows of trees – very special xx

    • Yes, I suppose high 30s F. seems incredibly cold to you. But it’s all relative depending on environment and what you’re used to in terms of temps.

      Actually, the three hikers were ahead of us on the nature center trail. So that’s not me in the photo.

  7. Wonderful scenery and subject matter. I never tire of the countryside.

  8. I have never showshoed and I’d really like to try.


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