Recently I had the opportunity to visit The Outing Lodge At Pine Point Stillwater Minnesota located at 11661 Myeron Rd N, Stillwater MN 55082. Living nearby, having heard about, as well as driving around the area, I had not actually seen in person the outing lodge at pine point located northwest of Stillwater Minnesota. Given the opportunity to visit the outing lodge at pine point along with some nice winter weather, the following are some views of the area, buildings and grounds.
What surprised me about the outing lodge at pine point was the vastness of the property, number, and size of structures along with their history.
For those not familiar with the area, there is a lot of wide open spaces, active farms, and ranches with horses, lakes which add to the outing destination factor. There are also many trails on the grounds for walking in summer or snowshoe in the winter months, not to mention, adjacent gateway trail.
The outing lodge at pine point is a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) with nice rooms, a large lobby great room, dining areas as well as plenty of room for events from weddings to seminars, meetings among others. In addition to being a B&B and hosting weddings as well as other events, the outing lodge at pine point also hosts summer and winter events including snowshoe among others.
Thanks to the folks at the outing lodge at pine point Stillwater Minnesota for the tour inside the facility in addition to being able to capture some images from above.
The historic Stillwater Lift bridge has been undergoing heavy maintenance since it closed to vehicle traffic with the opening of the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge in 2017. Following are various images during the heavy maintenance including when a section of the bridge was removed to allow boats to pass while lift section was down for work.
Boat passes through Stillwater lift bridge during maintenance
Recently Tom Becchetti (@tbecchetti) told me about Winter Motorcycle Ice Racing on Lake Martha in Chisago City Minnesota. I had heard of, seen photos and videos of Motorcycles racing on frozen lakes or rivers in the past, however, had not seen in person. Despite being a cold northwesterly wind with light snow, Tom and me decided to meet up at Lake Martha to do some sUAS / sUAV e.g. Drone flying and capture some images of Winter Motorcycle Ice Racing.
Winter Motorcycle Ice Racing Lake Martha Chisago City.
For those not familiar, Chisago City is in Chisago County which is about half hour to 45 minutes north of Stillwater, or, about an hour (or less) to the northeast of downtown Minneapolis St. Paul areas, and just a few miles west of Lindstrom Minnesota. There are many lakes in the area which is also close to the St. Croix River valley to the east. Lake Martha is on the western edge of Chisago City north of Highway 8 and adjacent to The Northern Tavern, or, across the highway to the northwest of Chisago lake among others.
Winter Motorcycle Ice Racing Sights, Sounds, Images and Video
The following are various sights, sounds, images and video from watching Winter Motorcycle Ice Racing on Lake Martha Chisago City.
Stillwater Lights is an experience that you walk through (and its free open to the public) an open-air tunnel of lights. At the base, it is about 24 feet wide and around 18 feet tall (give or take a foot or two). There are entrances at the ends, as well as along the sides with lit stars to mark the locations. Since a picture or video is worth a thousand words, have a look at the attached to get the rest of the story and experience. Hours are daily from 4 to 10 PM and slated to be open until March.
Dynamic Fall Weather St. Croix River Inversion Fog Dragon Breath. One of the things I enjoy about living in the Minneapolis St. Paul metropolitan area is the changing weather and seasons, if you don’t like it, wait and will change. That has been the scenario past week or so here the Stillwater St. Croix River valley eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin areas. So far in the past week, we have seen highs near 70 lows of freezing frost, clear and windy to wall clouds and tornadoes. We have also seen partly cloudy with calm windows high humidity between rains including inversion fog layers on the St. Croix River.
Some drone-based aerial views above and around Stillwater as well as St. Croix River valley over the past week. These include visits to Stillwater Fire Department open house, Art Fair, fall colors, St. Croix Sailing School High School Regatta in Hudson, new St. Croix Crossing bridge and much more.
From a sUAS or drone flying perspective, strong winds are a challenge and even more so are rain. However, in between those conditions, there have been some great opportunities to go upstairs and gets some different and unique perspective views that past week.
For example, check out the following video that I captured the other evening of inversion fog layer over St. Croix River valley shortly before evening severe storms arrived.
Dynamic fall weather resulted in Layer of Inversion Fog (Dragon Breath) Over St. Croix River flows south under Arcola Soo Line High Bridge towards Stillwater MN.
Following are some photos in various Pictures Over Stillwater photo galleries from the past week (along with others).
Some Tips, Recommendations and Reminders
Keep the weather in mind, head in the clouds and feet on the ground meaning watch the sky along with weather, while you are safe on the ground. Weather can change quickly, so be ready, plan ahead, watch forecasts and be prepared. When you contact any airports or air traffic control for the areas you will be flying (e.g. for those in Stillwater area, the downtown riverfront is controlled airspace), ask for conditions at their location to compare with your own local. If you are flying an sUAS or drone, keep your eyes on the aircraft, if using first-person view (FPV) goggles have one or more visual observers (VO).
Pay attention to surface winds along with those aloft, look around where you are going to be flying. Look at flag poles which way they are pointing, the direction of clouds, smoke from chimneys and other indicators. Also, note that winds can vary at the surface as well as a few feet to hundreds of feet up in the air. Another consideration is how the windows can be more turbulent around buildings, bluffs, hills and other structures, something to keep in mind. Note that while your drone may have automation and is fine once up in the air (watch out for fly-away during high winds), the landing may be a challenge. Likewise, not if, rather what happens when your software based automation AI enabled drone stops working and you need to land manually? How will you avoid a crash? The answer is being prepared.
Something I have noticed is that changing weather, the birds can be an indicator of when to land or get out-of-the-way if you are flying FPV mode with no VO, how will you see the birds behind or on your sides? Likewise, keep the aircraft in visual line of sight (e.g. don’t fly beyond where you can see it) so that you can recall quickly before developing weather has an impact. Also if you are using filters, adjust accordingly for example if cloudy try an ND4. Have fun, however, be prepared, be safe.
The 2018 Withrow Car Tractor Show was recently held being the 10th annual event. Pictures Over Stillwater was present capturing video and still aerial photography along with other sights as well as sounds of the vent. Withrow Car Tractor Show was co-hosted by Sals Angus Grill and Withrow Ballroom Event Center is a great event located between Stillwater to the east, Grant to the south and Hugo to the west. As a fundraising event, the Withrow Car Tractor Show benefits the Minnesota Military Family Foundation as well as Wishes & More organizations.
If you are not familiar with the event, view the following images and video highlights that included monster truck rides, classic trucks, classic cars, racing cars, classic boat motors, classic trucks, a tractor parade and much more. For those who attended the vent, revisit the sights and sounds of the 2018 Withrow Car Tractor Show.
Before and during drone based aerial videos of 2018 (10th annual) Withrow Car and Tractor Show. The event co-located at the Withrow Ballroom Event Center and Sals Angus Grill hosted about 450 classic cars and tractors (plus a few trucks, race cars, boat motors). This event benefits the Minnesota Military Family Foundation and Wishes & More.
Views from 2018 (10th annual) Withrow Car & Tractor Show including parade between Withrow Ballroom & Event Center and Sals Angus Grill. This event is a fundraiser for the Minnesota Military Family Foundation and the Wishes & More organization. Pictures Over Stillwater is a proud participant for this year event providing aerial photography and other views.