Saturday afternoon in Montgomery, fierce wind whipped this over-sized flag as light snow fell.
BITTERLY COLD. Double digit below zero temperatures. Minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday and Monday mornings. Dangerous windchills of minus 35 and 45 degrees. Exposed skin that can freeze in 10 minutes or less.
That’s our reality in Minnesota these days as Arctic air settles over our state. It is the topic of conversation. We Minnesotans love to talk about our weather.
Cold enough for you?
How long is this supposed to last?
With windchills in the minus 20-degree range Saturday afternoon, these snowmobilers dealt with machine break-down issues in the countryside.
We hole up indoors. Or we embrace the cold. As best we can. On Saturday I observed youth playing hockey outdoors while others skimmed across an adjacent skating rink. I spotted three snowmobilers parked alongside the road after a snowmobile apparently struck a highway sign. I saw vehicles ringing rural bars.
Reduced visibility driving into Montgomery Saturday afternoon.
Me? I snugged inside the van with my husband, mini quilt across my lap, as we crisscrossed Rice and nearby counties. We just drove, feeling the need to escape reality for an afternoon. Our meandering took us to downtown Lakeville, where we ducked in and out of several home-grown shops.
Since my last visit to New Prague, an antique shop has opened in this former hardware store. The shop holds a large collection of vinyl records and vintage Czech jewelry.
Then we aimed west, stopping at a New Prague antique shop before driving toward Montgomery.
I am always struck by how desolate farm sites appear in winter. This one lies between New Prague and Montgomery.
Sunshine occasionally sliced rays across the white-washed landscape. It is so cold you can see cold in the sun. It is so cold you can hear cold in the crunch of snow beneath tires and boots. And you can certainly feel it in the sting of cold slapping cheeks.
Traveling Minnesota State Highway 13 toward Montgomery Saturday afternoon.
Snow swirled through the wind-driven air near Montgomery, veiling the sky.
This historic building doesn’t look like much from the outside. But step inside Montgomery Brewing Company to find an inviting taproom.
In this Czech community, we stopped for a cold one at Montgomery Brewing Company. You would think on a bitterly cold January day like this, few people would venture out for a beer. But the place was hopping with couples popping in for tap beer, conversation and growlers.
Winter does not stop Minnesotans from riding their bikes. I spotted this one in Montgomery Saturday afternoon.
Back to the east in my county of Rice, Faribault’s F-Town Brewing Company offered beer samples at the Snow Crush Fat Tire Race at River Bend Nature Center on Saturday. An after-party followed at the brewery. Had the temperature been warmer, I likely would have been at the race shooting photos. But there’s a limit to what I’ll do in sub-zero/hovering around zero temps.
FYI: All of these edited images were shot from inside a warm van.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling