Off the beaten path of a delivery driver

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

This photograph was taken last January in Shakopee, MN on a chilly winter evening. I pulled over while on a delivery route to watch the sun set over this frozen marsh between Chaska and Shakopee.
This photograph was taken last January in Shakopee, MN on a chilly winter evening. I pulled over while on a delivery route to watch the sun set over this frozen marsh between Chaska and Shakopee.

One of the beauties of being a delivery driver that covers a wide portion of Minnesota was the scenery. Getting routes that went through the middle of nowhere or off the beaten path was always a highlight. Though this route went through the populated areas of Chaska and Shakopee it also went through some uninhabited rural roads. Finding these quiet, peaceful places is something I miss from that job. Though many nights were stressful or frustrating a drive like this made all of that seem to fade as I could watch the sun slowly setting behind the trees while I took my break with my camera. It was always quite a perk to be able to poll over anywhere whenever you wanted and take a 15 or 30 minute break and often led to some beautiful images of places that everybody just speeds on past.

At Home Up North

Easily one of my favorite campsites on the Superior Hiking Trail this view of the sunset from where our tents were set up shows why it is worth the effort to get to.
Easily one of my favorite campsites on the Superior Hiking Trail this view of the sunset from where our tents were set up shows why it is worth the effort to get to.

After moving to Texas I have been more drawn to trying to capture the magic of the sunset. The colors in the sky that are created during this time of the day are so vibrant and magnificent it is hard not to feel an appreciation for things beyond the control of man. I must admit I have not yet captured a Texas sunset I deem worthy of showing, but upon looking back on images I had taken I found this wondrous scene on the shore of Bear Lake on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). This section, the Twin Lakes Loop, is one of the most popular areas for many reasons. Foremost is it’s beauty, this section goes from rocky outcrops, through wooded marshes, scenic lakes, and more. It is also on the southernmost leg of the SHT; making it an easy weekend destination from the Twin Cities. Over the past several years I have found myself at this campsite countless times. This image is a perfect example of the serenity found at any given moment while sitting at this campsite. The subtle details in this image are overwhelming to anybody who has been to this location. The strips of birch bark along the shore are easily mistaken for litter, but are simply a sign of the beavers who have a den built at the southernmost tip of this lake on the stream that leads to Beaver Lake. Hidden in the water is the beaver swimming across the lake creating the ripples that are coming towards the shoreline from where the photograph is taken. The crystal clear water is all too inviting on the heated days of July and August after a sweaty hike through the ups and downs of the Sawtooth Mountains to get to this hidden oasis. This view accompanies every activity at the campsite from cooking breakfast over the propane stove, conversing over a campfire on a chilly eve in the north woods, lying in the afternoon sun to relax after a day hike, etc. Easily my favorite parts of the day while at this campsite are the sunrise and sunset. Even if you are not an early riser it is hard to not be awoken by the early morning sun heating up your tent on the shore. For these reasons and more this location is a place that in my heart has a feeling of home.