Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Mobile in a Minnesota winter, from metro to rural January 17, 2017

The outline of the Minneapolis skyline appears in the hazy distance while traveling along Minnesota State Highway 252.

The outline of the Minneapolis skyline appears in the hazy distance while traveling along Minnesota State Highway 252.

EVEN IN THE DEPTHS of winter, we Minnesotans are a mobile bunch. Snow, ice and cold may slow our pace. But, unless we hibernate, and we don’t, we remain fairly active.

Passing through the Lowry Tunnels always seems visually surreal to me, like driving through a video game.

Passing through the Lowry Tunnel in downtown Minneapolis always seems visually surreal to me, like driving through a video game.

This past weekend, snow-free and warm weather conditions proved ideal to be out and about. I was in “the Cities,” as those of us living outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro call that area. Family draws me there—this trip to spend time with the granddaughter and the in-laws.

Driving toward downtown Minneapolis on Interstate 94.

Driving toward downtown Minneapolis on Interstate 94.

The metro always teems with movement. Vehicles zoom along interstates and other roadways.

 

travel-101-plane-copy

 

Airliners crisscross the sky. Buses carry passengers along city streets. People walk and bike and run. I am always thankful when the busyness of the Cities fades in the rearview mirror. Thankful except for the leaving behind of family.

A man walks his bike along Minnesota State Highway 21 in Faribault on Sunday afternoon.

A man walks his bike along Minnesota State Highway 21 in Faribault on Sunday afternoon.

I prefer the quiet of less urban areas. Peaceful places certainly exist within the metro. But it’s not the same. I am more content in the quiet spaces of my community or small towns or the countryside. Within the familiar. Where fewer people live.

 

travel-130-skiing-at-river-bend

 

And so, after returning from the metro, I slipped on my Northwest Territory boots for a walk at River Bend Nature Center. While I hiked along snow-packed trails, others skied. Powered by our own feet, movement shifted from fast to slow. And that suited me after a weekend in the busy metro.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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18 Responses to “Mobile in a Minnesota winter, from metro to rural”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    After traveling to “the city” which here is OKC – not nearly as big as the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, I am always ready to be in our rural setting. We occasionally run down to Dallas to visit FD’s sister and her family and we love Dallas, but a weekend is enough of that traffic for me!

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    Be careful traveling anywhere in Southern Minnesota today, the ice is treacherous.

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    There is always some means to get around even if the winter months make it a bit slower and a bit more challenging. I hear Iowa has ice, ice, ice and everything has been on hold for quite a while. Hopefully you aren’t iced in as well.

  4. Hibernation sounds like fun for a while but so years in these parts lasts to long. Did you get a bunch of snow and ice this weekend?

  5. Don Says:

    “so, after returning from the metro, I slipped on my Northwest Territory boots for a walk at River Bend Nature Center. While I hiked along snow-packed trails, others skied. Powered by our own feet, movement shifted from fast to slow. And that suited me after a weekend in the busy metro”

    No truer statement can be made!!!! Be careful out there! As the saying goes “misery loves company”, that being said we are expecting 40-50 below temps but I think I would rather have the colder temperatures and not the ice storms!

    • OK, those temps are crazy cold.

      As for the ice, I agree. I just read an article in my local newspaper stating that 10 people were admitted to the Faribault hospital during a seven-hour period yesterday due to broken bones and head injuries sustained in falls on the ice. That’s a lot for a community of around 23,000. A total of 12 individuals showed up at the ER after falling on the ice. Tomorrow, with temps forecast to be around 40, will be a good melting day.

  6. Don Says:

    Oh My the hospital was busy. Need to put chains or ice crampons on those shoes! Ice storms are just a huge bother whether walking, driving, or just dealing with its problems. I trust you won’t have a problem with trees breaking and power outages to add to the mess………………………………

    • No problems with ice coating power lines. Main roadways are improving; gravel and less-traveled roads await today’s sunshine and warm temps. I’m tasked later today with scraping ice from the driveway. First the sun and ice biter must so their work.

  7. Jackie Says:

    I always enjoy traveling to the cities, we travel the same roads when we go to our cabin in the summer. This coming weekend we will be headed to spend time with our other 2 grands, I’m so excited….minus the traffic of course. Love the first photo with the shadowy skyline! That tunnel always makes me think if Princess Diana, as she died I one that was very similar. The speed limit in that tunnel is 30 MPH, I’m pretty sure most are traveling at least 50….you must keep up with traffic or get run over.

    • That’s what Randy always tells me, that he’s just keeping up with the traffic flow. What I dislike the most are the weavers and the bumper riders.

      Enjoy your time with the grands. We had time with our sweet baby last weekend.


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