Rural Living, Northern Lights, and Minnesota Nice

Rural Living, Northern Lights, and Minnesota Nice

I really love living in Minnesota – out in the country where the skies are dark (really dark) and where people still wave at each other when we pass along the country roads. Life moves at a slower pace here and gives us more chances to just be present in the moment.

The other night, the Northern Lights were in the forecast (see the tips below for the tools I use to know when to head outside). As soon as the sun set and the sky turned dark, we packed our favorite beverages and a few snacks, and my husband and I headed out to the end of the road in our golf cart. While we do most of our night sky viewing at home on our own property, the dense woods that surround the front of our house prevent us from seeing the horizon of the North sky. Therefore, we usually head to the stop sign at the end of our dirt road, as it provides a wide-open view of the North horizon. The roads around here get very little traffic, so the sky remains dark and parking on the side of the road next to the stop sign is never a problem.

Shortly after we arrived at the stop sign, our neighbors that live near the stop sign came out and joined us. We all stood around visiting in anticipation of the Northern Lights. And what a fun show it was! That evening, the colors of the aurora were bright green and remained fairly low on the horizon, with just a few tall spikes of color every once in a while. It was so enjoyable to be talking and laughing with neighbors out in the dark, with all the ooo’s and aah’s as the Northern Lights danced in the sky. After a couple of hours, the lights faded. We said goodbye to friends, and agreed we’d head out again the next night for a second act.

The next evening, the Northern Lights were in the forecast again! Once again, we packed snacks (have you ever tried Caramel Macchiato Trail Mix from Target? You simply must!), and our favorite beverages, jumped in the golf cart and headed out for the stop sign. We alerted another neighbor that we were heading out, and when we drove past the neighbor near the stop sign, they came out to join us, too. Our gathered crowd at the stop sign talked and laughed while we waited for the lights in the sky. We commented on the Milky Way, which was as brilliant as a cloud in the sky, and on the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. The Northern Lights finally made their appearance and the colors were spectacular!

Greens, pinks, purples, and yellows lit up the northern sky!Tall, towering spikes of colors reached up overhead and to the West and to the East. Dancing colors were all around us!

At one point, a truck with a young guy driving stopped, rolled down his window and asked if we were all okay. I’m sure we might have looked odd, having a party at the stop sign in the middle of nowhere! We told him we were watching the Northern Lights and thanked him for stopping. See?! Even the younger generation here in Minnesota is “Minnesota Nice”!

After a couple of hours, the lights started to fade and it was getting late. First one set of neighbors left, then the other. My husband and I decided to stay for a little while and just enjoy the stars – hoping that we’d see an encore act of the Northern Lights. While we were sitting in the golf cart, another truck pulled down our road. The couple asked if we were okay, and when we told them we were watching for the Northern Lights, they turned around, parked behind us, and joined us. Random strangers, watching with us. Rural Minnesota is such a great place to live!

I took photos of the stars and the Milky Way using my iPhone 13 Pro Max and my new tripod, as my regular digital camera needs repair. The photos might not be the best, but considering they were taken with a phone, they’re not too bad.

After another hour, we all decided to head home for the night. It was definitely a fun adventure!

Click the links in this article for more information, and click the photos to enlarge. 


Northern Lights Viewing Tips:


If you’re ever up our way, and see two people sitting in a golf cart at a stop sign under dark skies, stop and say ‘hello’!


Make sure to check out my Article Index for hundreds and hundreds of fun (and interesting) articles you can use! Everything from houseplant resources, unique home decor, and creative entertaining ideas. You’re sure to find inspiration!


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