This last weekend Cyndie and I took advantage of the continued beautiful weather and shoot our way to Rice Lake, WI via Isanti, MN (that is the long, long way for those not familiar with the area). Small communication glitch as to our final destination; it’s was all good though. We had a pretty long and varied path full of interesting things to shoot along the way.
We started the day hopeful for a beautiful sunrise, but instead we were met with glorious fog. An acceptable alternative indeed. Fog is an interesting animal; the way it creates layers and softens object in the distance is quite fun to shoot. After a few hours of playing with fog we headed North on back roads towards Isanti via Hudson, WI; up through Lake Elmo and onto Mahtomedi. We also drove around Hugo, Forrest Lake and Wyoming before we hit Interstate 35 and eventually our first stop in Isanti. Beautiful country all around. At one point we were going down a road and we spotted two swans in a pond just off the road. We quickly turned off to take a closer look. Upon arrival at the water’s edge it wasn’t completely apparent that the swans were in fact decoys, but it became very clear rather quickly. We had a good laugh and got on our way before the locals laughed themselves silly at the sight of us photographing their swan decoy’s.
After a stop in Isanti we meandered a considerable distance East to St. Croix Falls, WI. With DQ Crunch cones in hand, we headed North on 87 towards Grantsburg and to a location of a barn I had shot before on a previous outing; specifically this barn/photo. While we were shooting and older gentleman pulled over to stop and chat. He stated that this barn was actually a creamery back in the day (1940-1950′s) and supported the war effort with dairy products. I am still in the process of researching this and will hopefully have a post out soon.
We did manage to stumble upon an abandoned house as we headed West. It wasn’t really that old of a structure and was more of a slightly tattered home full of messes, but abandoned none-the-less.
After a bit we found ourselves on Hwy 48 heading towards our final destination – Rice Lake, WI. Anyone that has traveled this stretch of roads know that this is a little piece of barn-shooter paradise. We did stumble upon an all-wood silo; I have never seen one before this day. It was in good shape, full of texture and ripe with color. The day was getting on and dinner awaited our arrival at 6 p.m. in Rice Lake. It was time to hasten the pace towards our final destination and pass up shiny and interesting things along the final stretch. Hwy 48 is full of interesting thing; we’ll be back. 230+ miles and a 12 hr. day. Life is good.
This past weekend was gorgeous with unseasonably warm weather. Cyndie and I spent most of St. Patrick’s Day en route to Alexandria for a wedding. Sticking to the main drag of Interstate 94 until the Clearwater exit; then the discovery and shooting began.
I continually feel so incredible fortunate to be able to consistently stumble upon wonderful sites to capture. And to do so with Cyndie makes these experienced all the more memorable and fun. As you have no doubt have gathered from past posts – the old, decrepit and crumbling structures is high on our list to shoot. From time to time we have been lucky enough to stumble upon the complete abandoned farmstead: barn, house, and if we are really lucky, additional out buildings. We were just that lucky, not once, but twice this trip. The awesomeness was plentiful and seemingly forever in-frame for the duration of our departure to our return. On the return trip home we were super-double-lucky and happened upon the whole enchilada at one single location: barns (yes, plural), house, out-building, and a dozen or so old cars. What a glorious, spectacular mess of exquisitely aged color and texture. Loved every minute of it.
Day two began with very tasty breakfast at the Jailhouse Inn. The just-out-of-the-oven apricot walnut scones, juices, coffee, and variety of fresh fruit made the already bright sun-shiny morning even better. Breakfast continued with John & Lois serving up herb cheese omelets, fried seasoned potatoes and sausage - delicious. Well-coffee’d and full bellies, it was time to begin the second day of shooting.
This area along the Root River held exactly what we were after…more leisurely driving and picturesque scenery. Our path through the winding county roads, hills and valleys afforded more visions of barns, rusty things and very old things. We stopped by an old cemetery just Southeast of Weaver on 74 in the Whitewater River bottoms. Several very interesting headstones dating back to the late 1800′s. Another great day of shooting.
It was great to get back out there shooting after a month-long hiatus from roaming the countrysides. The air was brisk, clouds abundant and an occasional snow flurry would burst out from the sky to mix it up a bit. There was no shortage of our usual fav’s – barns, old cars, rusted metal and the ever-present barbed wire and fence posts. It was all quite familiar and relaxing traversing the back roads of Goodhue, Olmsted, and Fillmore counties with my special lady – chasing the light and all things shiny.
The final destination for this early March Saturday was Preston, MN and the Jailhouse Inn. If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend. John and Lois have a wonderful B&B nestled in the picturesque Root River valley. There are a handful of nice restaurants in the Preston/Lanesboro area to have dinner, but go early or be prepared to wait. Every resident of the tri-county area seemed to be in town for dinner that Saturday evening. I should have known this having grown up in small town america. You can also opt for a tasty pizza pie at Chics Pizza, which we did; I didn’t want to risk a case of the hangries.
What can i say…other than February was a slow photography month. One shoot total for the month. My favorite shot of that outing:
These ladies where all dressed in fur and smiles. The horse was absolutely gorgeous.
It was a very busy month otherwise; all good things and all settled once again. I am looking forward to this weekend and the rest of March. Heading to the “Masters of the Sky” program on Saturday 3/3/12 at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center. Afterward, it’s off to shoot somewhere with my sweetie…a surprise of sorts – can’t wait.