Minnesota Fall Colors | Becky Moen Photography

Fall in Minnesota without a doubt comes with lots of gorgeous colors as the leaves on the trees explode with color. Every year I can’t help but to be in aw as I watch the trees go from green to bright yellow and red. Growing up in California, fall didn’t come with much change with the exception of Northern California when the vineyards would change their colors in October during the crush. Of course I am partial to Napa Valley but that is a story better saved for another day.

Although I have only lived in MN for just over 4 yrs, I find myself taking for granted the wonderful seasons we have here so this year my goal is to try and capture some of the beauty. Right across the street from work (my full time day job) I drive by the Blaine Preserve Science and Natural Area (SNA). Didn’t know till I took the photo below that this beautiful open space actually had a name thank you to Google Maps. Recently I signed up to be a Google Local Guide which has proven to have its perks. About a wk after the first day of fall I stopped on my lunch break to take a photo of the trees as they started to explode with color.

Blaine Preserve Scientific and Natural Area © Becky Moen Photography
Blaine Preserve Scientific and Natural Area
© Becky Moen Photography

In just one month this area has changed dramatically despite our unusually warm record breaking weather. I plan to get out there again in the next few day to take another photo to continue my 12 month series which I am very anxious to complete though I am sure once the temps drop below freezing I won’t be too happy LOL

I have always said that if you blink you will miss fall. Luckily 2 wks after I took the photo in Blaine, I had an opportunity to visit Clifton French Region Park in Plymouth, MN when the trees were so bright and colorful it only to proved the brightest colors come from nature.

At the start of the path I got my first glimpse of the beautiful trees.

© Becky Moen Photography
Clifton French Regional Park
© Becky Moen Photography

As I left the park I took one last look back at the trees. The yellow and green leaves were so bright and beautiful.


© Becky Moen Photography
Clifton French Regional Park
© Becky Moen Photography

This fall has been busier than usual complete with a senior session with one incredible young man that I have had the pleasure of meeting the day I moved to MN and a family I who has grown close to my heart over the last 5 yrs. Two long overdue posts coming soon.

Goonies Road Trip | Cannon Beach & Astoria | Oregon

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, many of us remember the Goonies. Phrases like “Goonies never say die!”, “Down here is our time. It’s our time, down here!” and “Boodie Traps” are all it takes to bring us right back to the Goondocks and One Eyed Willie.

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I made a trip out west and took a road trip over to Cannon Beach and Astoria, Oregon with my dad. Up until then, I had no idea one day I’d get to visit some of the places where one of my favorite movies as a kid was filmed.

In typical Oregon Coast fashion, or so I am told, it began raining as we crossed the bridge into Astoria.  At first glance, this coastal town reminded me of Marin County in the North Bay Area of California.


About 40 Minutes south from Astoria is Cannon Beach. At the start of the Goonies movie the car chase ends on the beach and later as the Goonies begin their search for One Eye Willie’s Treasure by lining up the two large rocks in the medallion found in the Goondocks attic. I only lasted about 10 minute on the beach before the wild wind and drizzle left me nearly soaked. The wind was so strong it blew wet sand across the coast.


On the way back to Astoria, Google Maps gave us directions back to the Goonies House. The only access is by foot with several signs long the neighborhood streets directing visitors to the Goondocks, the name of the house were the brothers lived. Standing in front of the house you can hear the seals barking down in the East Mooring Basin. The white Queen Anne-style house sits at 368 38th St on a tiny one way road at the edge of the cliff.



After taking the time to recall scenes from the movie, take photos of the house, noticing the Goondocks sign on the side of the house, my dad and I took a cell-phone selfie, the first photo together in over 8yrs.



Want to take a Goonies Road trip? Check out this great article.

White Sand Beach and the Emerald Coast

Growing up in Southern California I loved spending time at the beach and playing in the ocean every summer. While I have always thought the Pacific Coast was beautiful nothing compares to the white sand and emerald coast of Pensacola Beach, Florida. My family took a vacation down to my husband’s home town this summer and I couldn’t help but to fall in love. By far this is one of my favorite shots taken on our trip and one we are planning on hanging in our living room.

Pensacola Beach, FL
Pensacola Beach, FL

Day trip to Lake Superior

The winter here in Minnesota has been crazy cold this year. We have had days on end with temps well below zero, some days never getting out of the negative temps. Its been pure insanity. As a result the great lakes are all frozen, the most its ever been in a few decades.

Finally the weather has warmed up a bit. Crazy to say it but having temps in the 40s felt absolutely wonderful. I have been anxious to check out the frozen lake so we took a day trip up to Duluth, MN. It was a ton a fun. Wind was a little bit cold.

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On our way back we stopped at the Museum by the lift bridge and the girls had a blast checking out all the cool stuff and the history. Right before heading home we finally got a chance to walk on the lake itself and my two youngest could help but to run and play on the ice.

Frozen Mississippi River | Champlin, MN

Yesterday on my way to work I was asked to make a stop in Champlin, MN. As I crossed the Mississippi River both times I couldn’t help but to notice how beautiful it looked. Honestly I had thought my eyes were playing tricks on me as I thought to myself there is no way it could really be frozen and covered in snow. Up till now I have only ever seen the Mississippi River with a heavy current, gorgeous and blue when the temperatures are warmer or with a bit of snow along the banks.

With the extreme cold we have been having this winter I am not surprised everything is frozen, including the mighty Mississippi. After I got done with work I couldn’t help myself and went exploring. Wasn’t out for much longer that maybe 15 min but that was all the time it took to freeze down to the core, so much so that I couldn’t feel my fingers and the camera on my phone decided to boycott the whole adventure all together.

Got some cool shots though and if it ever does warm up here I definitely want to make a trip back down there again. Cell phone photos don’t do this place justice. I am gonna blame my freezing shivering body for the lack of better excuse.

The bridge itself is actually larger than I even knew which makes the Mississippi River look that much wider once you are down at the banks.


Closer you get to the bridge you begin to make out where the river banks start



I needed to see for myself that it was in fact frozen.





Looking back from under the bridge you can get a good shot how magnificent this whole place really is. I can’t wait to come back again.