So I went to my friend Dave’s home in Eagle River Valley to watch the Vikings put the serious hurt on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. I find it amusing how many sports pundits kept referring to the Dallas Cowboys as the “hottest team in the NFC” going into the playoffs. Sounds like the accuracy of a weather forecast that calls for light flurries and the storm instead ends up dumping 36 inches of snow.
Anyway, back to Eagle River Valley. The developed portion of the valley extends about ten miles in from the highway, with homes reaching high up into some serious elevations above the river. Certainly not the sort of place to live unless you have a solid 4WD vehicle. I could not get up the driveway to Dave’s house with my front wheel drive only Ford Focus, even with studded tires. At the end of the developed portion is the Eagle River Nature Center, a wonderful resource for naturalist education and the starting point for a series of trails leading to public use cabins and off to farther trails, like the 23-mile trail past Eagle Glacier and over the Crow Pass.
It is also a spectacularly beautiful valley, one of the more beautiful accessible valleys in the area. I can see why people would risk building as high as they do and braving those steep winter roads to have the views that they have. The same goes for the view from Dave’s house, which is the feature photo for this post. I actually took this shot from the warmth and comfort of the inside of the house. I took my time setting up the equipment and taking the shot, going back and forth in between plays of the Vikings game to capture this image, which is a four-photo HDR shot.