Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Scenes along Minnesota State Highway 99 December 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Travel, Minnesota Highway 99 near Cleveland #2


MINNESOTA STATE HIGHWAY 99 rolls through farm country and small towns from northeast of Faribault to Nicollet.


Travel, Minnesota Highway 99 farmsite near Cleveland


I call it the back road to my native southwestern Minnesota. It’s the route my husband and I take to vary our travel or to avoid U.S. Highway 14 road construction and/or traffic between Mankato and Nicollet.

Usually we are in a hurry , which allows no time to explore. It is a sad fact of much travel these days. But even in haste, I notice details.


Travel, Minnesota Highway 99 bridge over MN River in St. Peter


When Randy mentioned that the Highway 99 bridge over the Minnesota River in St. Peter is due for replacement, I snapped a photo just as were about to cross it. I love bridges like this with architectural character. The 1931 steel truss bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and slated for rehab (not replacement) in 2017, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.


Travel, Minnesota Highway 99 Swedish Imports sign in St. Peter


Waiting at a stoplight just across the bridge in the heart of downtown St. Peter, I turned my camera lens to a Swedish Imports sign, noting that we really must stop here sometime.


Travel, Minnesota Highway 99 Schmidt Meat Market sign in Nicollet


To the west of St. Peter in Nicollet, I photographed a sign for Schmidt’s Meat Market as we drove through town. The market has become a destination for many. We stopped there once. I popped inside, but quickly retreated to the car. Most people like the smokey smell of a meat market. I don’t. But that’s OK. We’re all different, with distinct tastes, likes and dislikes. That keeps the route through life varied and interesting.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


21 Responses to “Scenes along Minnesota State Highway 99”

  1. We see our generation rush by, The farm house and self-service gas stations. Outstanding blog as usual!!

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Love the black and whit images today, Audrey.

  3. Beautiful Captures 🙂 Happy Day – Happy Exploring!!!

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    Ah Schmidt’s Meat Market…yum; they have great meat. Great B&W photos. Since you are not fond of the smokey smell of a meat market, I won’t recommend Nerstrand Meats just East of you on 246. I love this tiny little meat market in all of is pungent smokey wonderfulness. It is my favorite by far throughout all my travels.

  5. Almost Iowa Says:

    “The 1931 steel truss bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and slated for rehab (not replacement) in 2017, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.”

    Wonderful news. It is good that they are working to preserve these landmarks.

  6. Jackie Says:

    Your post reminds me that I am in need of a little road trip…maybe today! Loved the B & W photo’s

  7. Great pictures. I love the old farm house. Mmm my imagination smells smoked ham.

  8. I’m always happy to see well-done B&W photos. The top one is my favorite. But no snow! Didn’t you get pounded with the storm yesterday?

    • Thank you, Kathleen. Sometimes images lend themselves better to black-and-white than to color. These did.

      These photos were taken on December 19.

      And, yes, we are getting lots of snow here in Faribault. It started around 3 p.m. Monday and is still falling as I write.

  9. Jeanine Says:

    I recognized the bridge immediately. It’s fascinating how our brains store images.

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