Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota skylines January 28, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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The Minneapolis skyline as photographed from Interstate 35 in Burnsville.

The Minneapolis skyline as photographed from Interstate 35 in Burnsville. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo, June 2015.

MINNESOTA HAS LONG been divided. Rural vs. urban. The area outside the Twin Cities metro is often referred to as Greater Minnesota or Outstate Minnesota. I don’t mind the “greater.” But outstate? Isn’t every inch of land, every single one of our 87 counties, part of the state of Minnesota?

The division of urban and rural is always most noticeable during the legislative session. Or during road construction season.

Silos mark the rural skyline on a farm in the Prior Lake area.

Silos mark the rural skyline on a farm in the Prior Lake area. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Despite our division and differences, we are still Minnesotans. And whether you like the busyness of the city or the quiet of the country, or something in between, you can find your right place in the diverse geography of our state.

The gravel road that runs past my middle brother's rural acreage just north of Lamberton, Minnesota.

Just north of Lamberton, Minnesota, in Redwood County, the county in which I was born. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Follow prairie to the Dakotas and hills to Wisconsin. Angle lakes and canoe winding rivers. Secret yourself away in woods or free your spirit under wide skies. Choose an office cubicle or a tractor cab to box you in. Meander along gravel roads or rush along the interstate.

The downtown Minneapolis skyline, up close.

The downtown Minneapolis skyline, up close. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Whatever your preferred skyline, embrace it. Urban isn’t better than rural and rural isn’t better than urban. Not in the sense of a grand, broad statement. But from a personal perspective, we have our preferences. And that is good. Our state needs balance. And we should respect that.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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24 Responses to “Minnesota skylines”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    I noticed you didn’t include any pictures with snow 🙂 I am patiently awaiting the return to green. I am enamored with all that you mention; even though I could envision myself living in the mountains of Colorado or on either coast, Minnesota in my home. I love the prairie, woods, water and hills.

    • Then you belong here, Dan, given your love for the geographical diversity of Minnesota. I think being a photographer helps one appreciate every area to some degree.

      I don’t have any metro area snow photos. But I have some rural snow scenes that will go into another post.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    There is someplace for everyone, right?

  3. I love your second to the last paragraph- “Follow…” great parallelism there!

  4. After all these years it’s still quite impressive to crest that hill in Burnsville on 35W and see downtown Minneapolis and the 50-mile stretch of I-35 through wide-open farm land from Clear Lake, IA to Story City, IA is still my favorite stretch of the trip from Owatonna to Kansas City.

  5. Almost Iowa Says:

    Rural areas have their small towns, cities have their neighborhoods, each have their own character. It is why I enjoy following your blog, you bring out that character.

  6. Littlesundog Says:

    I love the silos photo best! I never thought about those making for a skyline. You’ve given me a different perspective today! 😀

  7. Would love to take a walk down that gravel road…

  8. Balance is GOOD! I have lived in rural to urban and both have their merits. When I lived in MN I explored Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and the Dakotas. When I lived out west I explored CA, AZ, NV, HI, OR, WA, ID, MT, and WY. It is so much fun to experience and explore the various states. I am excited to explore and experience the South and the East Coast in moving to the area last year. I love seeing a gravel road, especially if it leads me to a winery or baby farm animals 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  9. Gunny Says:

    I have enjoyed seeing a sunrise in Singapore, watched a sunset in New Mexico, as seen and painted by Peter Hurd who just couldn’t quite capture what he saw. Seen the fog of Merry ol’ England, basked in the sun in the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, Seen the fury of the Ocean, and seen it on days when it is as calm as the water in one’s bath tub. I have seen and walked various deserts, forests, mountains and jungles. I have been in modern urban areas such as Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, slums, farms, rural farming areas. I am always amazed at what I find. The populations of urban America are often politically at odds with their rural cousins. One finds many reasons to be where they are at, and many other reasons to be somewhere else. Enjoy where you are at! There was a time when I couldn’t fall asleep without the whine of the four jet engines screaming on the B-52 or the howling screech of two J79 engines of an F-4. What one sees as an annoyance may just well be the lullaby to another.

  10. Don Says:

    Great pictures, they bring back many memories yet they also stir different feelings in me:

    Urban skyline = rat race, gotta get er done, hurry hurry hurry, shopping, meetings, etc.

    Rural skyline = contentment, simple, laid back, peaceful, rocking chairs on porch etc.

    Just my two cents

  11. Sue Ready Says:

    I enjoyed your parallelism between urban and rural-your photos and sparse text convey a lot of meaning. There is something about each to appreciate.


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