Uniquely Minnesota: Twin Cities 360

I’ve been flying around the Twin Cities for about 12 years and the only time I notice how uniquely diverse Minnesota can be over the course of just a few miles is when I take someone for a flight who’s never flown in a small airplane before; someone who knows how to take nice photographs

On Sunday, I took MPR’s online producer, Steve Mullis, for a flight from the southern suburbs down to Lake Pepin, then up the Mississippi to St. Paul. A sample of his photographs provides a clearer perspective of just how different things are at the end of a stone’s throw.

From the classic skyline of St. Paul (seen from the never-ending Wakota Bridge project):


To the suburban sprawl of — I believe — Apple Valley and Eagan


But there’s still plenty of land that isn’t a housing development… yet.


Prior Lake:


Holiday rush hour on the Mississippi River:


From the air, you realize just how close the Treasure Island casino is to the Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Red Wing. Lake Pepin is at the top of the picture.


Where does all the gravel come from for roads and construction and cement? It comes from scarring the heck out of the landscape:


There are more gravel pits out there than you may think.


Bluff country, Wisconsin style.


Knee high by the 4th of July? Hard to tell from up here:


(Click any image to enlarge)

Find more of Steve’s photography on his Flickr page.