Just another Sunday drive

Do you ever remember hearing when you were growing up, “!@#$ Sunday drivers.”  I believe I heard that a couple thousand times as a child, and I may have uttered the phrase  myself in my younger years.  I am one now…a Sunday driver.  There is nothing more relaxing than putz’in around the back roads in the country.

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We had originally set out to grab some pizza at The Stone Barn in Nelson, WI.  Upon arrival, we found it closed as it wasn’t even close to 5 p.m.  Hint:  read all of the information on the website; specifically the days of the week and time of day the establishment is open.

No worries, Nelson wasn’t too far away.  We stopped at J&J BBQ.  I am no stranger to BBQ and I know my way around a grill, meat rubs, smoking, etc.  Wow, that was some good BBQ.  I will definitely stop there again.

After our late lunch we made our way back to the countryside on top of the river bluffs and slowly made our way back toward home.  We were fortunate enough to take in some lovely scenery on a picture-perfect kind of day.

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100 Miles of something

http://www.mississippi-river.org has a great website with information on where to stay, eat, shop, and things to do – all around Lake Pepin.  There are several 100 Miles of… links: vistas, boating, birding, fishing, history and even garage sales.

The big big big 100 miles of garage sales was May 2-4 this year.  Cyn & I didn’t get out for a drive until Sunday and by that time most sales where over and done.  We found some stragglers still open though.  I was more interested in the drive, but the potential for an awesome find is always around every corner.  The super-find of the trip was an old produce crate in the dumpster outside of Reads Landing Brewing Company.  I spied the little treasure as we sat on the patio sipping our fire-hot bloody marrys.

Prior to landing for refreshments we spent a significant amount of time roaming around the little river town of Stockholm, WI.  There are several unique shops to wander through.  Among them is a fantastic bakery – Bogus Creek Cafe & Bakery.  The cranberry walnut bread is out of this world.  You may have noticed in past posts…if there is a bakery in the vicinity  I’ll be sampling the local fare.

Stockholm is great small town to spend a few hours just walking around.  There is no shortage of interesting art.  Be sure to check out Adobe Stockholm.  Juno & Me has some of the best candies I’ve had is awhile and their pet product are worth browsing.  For more information on additional shops, see Stockholm’s official website.

Here are a few other shot I took around town before we got on our way to the next town.

There is so much to see and do around Lake Pepin.  Hwy 35 on the Wisconsin side boasts some spectacular views as does Hwy 61 on the Minnesota side.  You are never board around here – take a drive around the lake!

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The Big Purge

It has been a long time coming now.  Backing up to the cloud takes time even with plenty of bandwidth.  My recent back up revelations have led to incessant purging of files.  It is a very long process.  2011, not a complete year (Aug – Dec), has been reduced to approximately 1000 shots retained; I am sure that could even be reduced further if I really had to.  I will leave some for a likely future last round of digital cleansing.  I guess when I first started to dig into photography I kept everything.  For the most part I am glad that I did.  When I look back it is very clear to me what worked and what didn’t.  I know a few more tricks in salvaging an image that was less than perfectly exposed, but that isn’t the ultimate goal.  Shoot and learn; shoot more and learn even more.

I am hoping with further review of subsequent years to see a style emerging; your style isn’t so readily apparent to you – at least it isn’t to me.  I have spent the last few years experimenting with many different things photographically.  It is interesting to look back at what you have shot. Remembering why you shot something is my biggest challenge (thankfully the memories are still fresh).  These are a few photos from 2011 that caught my eye while sifting through the nearly 4000 shots.

Assorted Photos – 2013: Week #15

A varied assortment of subjects from this week of photos.  Fire trucks, a fisherman, two-story schoolhouse and ice to name a few.  We are still being held hostage by Mother Nature and her fit of Winter.  Next weeks forecast includes snow as well – booo!

Weekend Afternoon Drive

This Winter weather is holding fast even though we have had a couple of warm-ish snaps.  Any day now the big melt will begin; I can’t wait.  I’ve had enough of Winter, snow, cold, ice, shoveling, lengthy commutes, etc.

Despite all I listed above, Winter is one of my favorites times of year to shoot.  Creating black and white images during this time of year can be both challenging and rewarding.  It is a time of the year to really focus on composition, detail and light.  Some days, like today, the light is really flat.  Overcast skies and no glint of sunlight poking through anywhere.

Cyn and I went for an afternoon drive last weekend.  We did a loop from Red Wing to Lake City and back again.  Frontenac State Park has some wonderful views of the bluffs in Wisconsin towering over Hwy 35.  I really like the detail in the trees against the snow-covered bluff as a backdrop.  You can really make out the contours of the valley slopes.

Revisited – February 2013

Revisited – February 2013 hot out post processing.  Lots of shooting this last month – love it.  There was even an album I didn’t seem to get around to processing.  That hardly ever happens.

Assorted Photos – 2013: Week #8

It was an eventful weather week.  It started out windy and cold and ended with lots of snow.  The wind really whipped down Lake Pepin on Tuesday; it was quite the sight.  The eagles were out in numbers fishing away in the wind.  There was a magnificent rainbow sherbet sunrise mid-week.  I spied a pile of discarded household crap on a country road.  What the hell are people thinking when they do that?  And to wrap it all up, Friday brought several inches of white-fluffy-commute-lengthening stuff.  Eventful week.

Sailors, piggies, and round bail walls – oh my!

A recent drive about yield a few interesting shots of a diverse and varied subject matter.  Sailors, piggies, round bail walls, eagles, photographer and one very nice coupla.  I haven’t encountered a coupla to-date that has glass panels.  The rest of the design is as common as others I have seen in the area.  There were lots of eagle watchers/photographers out along the river.  The area between Maple Springs and Reads Landing is always a hot spots.

Wind surfing over a frozen Lake Pepin will likely never be my cup of tea, but it was interesting to watch for a few moment…until the warm car called us back.

The furry piggies where just a bonus we encountered while on back roads.  We crested a hill and could see something in the distance; not big enough to be cattle or horses.  Little furry piggies they were.

The wall of round bails were masterfully position to block the shrill and chilling winds of winter.  It appeared to be quick the fortress of sorts; the only thing missing was a draw bridge.

Sunrise – Lake Pepin – Maple Springs, MN

We could not have asked for a better morning to take in a sunrise.  Lots of clouds and wonderful color; the mist burning off was a lovely bonus.  Maple Springs, at the foot of Lake Pepin, is an excellent place for a sunrise.  The wide expanse of water, bluffs, rocky shoreline and even the railroad tracks provide a great setting.

After our sunrise shoot we  went to the public access in Old Frontenac to look for beach treasure.  Nothing much to speak of really, but Cyndie found a big ‘ol shiny rock to tote home (last photo :-)).  We drag all kinds of artifacts home from out travels; mostly interesting rocks to work into the landscaping.