i’ve been meaning to get up early enough to take photos at sunrise for a long time. looong time. we’re talking years long time.
on saturday, i finally did it. i had scouted out where i wanted to take pictures earlier in the month; i knew i wanted to do it along hwy 16 down here in southeastern MN, which is a scenic byway.
i pulled out and drove east on hwy 14 at about 6:35, and the horizon was just starting to get a little dusty. i drove a winding way down to whalan, which is near lanesboro. the topography is interesting: you have pretty tree-less prairie land with occasional hills, which are loaded with commodity crops; then suddenly, you drop into a river valley where the land is nothing but hills covered with trees.
at one point on my drive, i was on a hill on the prairie, and i could see south for miles. fog had rolled in overnight due to the below-freezing temps, and it looked spooky with the hills poking out of the grey-ish white fog in the barely there pre-dawn dark.
(at this point, i was thanking my lucky stars, because i had always wanted to get up in the morning and take some fog pics too.)
i drove to whalan and found my barn, but sunrise was another 15 minutes away, and it would take longer than that for it to crest the hill enough to be visible. i drove out of the valley, just up a gravel road, and parked my car next to a field where i waited for the sun to make its appearance.
sunrise light is beautiful. it makes everything look new and crisp, and with the frost still on the ground, the crops and grass looked mystical.
after i got some photos on the prairie, i went back down into the valley and got my barn pictures. all in all, they weren’t my favorite photos taken that day, and the barn was the reason i drove out.
i drove into lanesboro afterward to try my hand at waterfall pictures (epic fail, and i almost biffed it on some ice), and took about a mile walk on the bike trail, getting flat on the ground at one point.
as a bonus, i was able to take in the lanesboro farmers’ market, which i’d been meaning to check out all summer. small, and i wouldn’t make a special trip, but it was worth checking out. i bought another pie pumpkin and some garlic to plant.
i left lanesboro and the valley around 9:30 and got home around 10. it was only mid-morning and i felt like i’d been up for half a day already. but it was totally worth it.
now that i know what to expect, i’ll do sunrise pictures again.