Last week, Minnesotans had the opportunity to catch a couple of nights' worth of Northern Lights viewing. I, like many people around the state, headed out of town to get away from city lights to try to catch the show.

While I'll sometimes head out with a friend or two, I often end up just heading out with my camera gear to see if I can capture a couple of images of the night's show. Last week was one of those situations.

I loaded up my camera and tripod and headed north of Duluth to a spot I go from time to time on the North Shore. While it's located right along the highway, there are some really cool foreground trees and buildings that line up perfectly with a Northern Lights show in the night sky.

As I've done a good number of times before, I pulled way off the side of the road, set up my tripod and camera, and started taking photos. Seeing traffic pass by is a pretty normal thing. I often use the glow of passing headlights to light some of the foreground, so it works out for a decent shot.

What was different from the number of times I've done this in the past - both at this location and other places - put a smile on my face.

READ MORE: These are scientifically the best places to view the Northern Lights in Minnesota 

About halfway through my hour or so on the side of the road capturing photos, a vehicle slowed down and pulled in front of my car on the shoulder. The woman driving rolled her window down and asked if everything was alright. I explained that I had my camera down in the ditch and that I was catching some pictures of the Northern Lights over the treeline and building on the side of the road.

She commented that she didn't realize that the Northern Lights were out, and then proceeded to tell me when she saw someone standing next to a car on the side of the road, she was worried something was wrong.

I mentioned how much I appreciated her for checking, because it seems like in this modern world, people just don't do that anymore. Between nearly everyone having a cell phone to call for help and an ever-growing concern or suspicion of people potentially trying to do something malicious, people just don't stop like they used to.

The woman, who was probably in her early 30s, agreed. She said, "That's actually why I stopped. People just go about their lives and don't care about strangers anymore". I thanked her again for her kindness, she wished me luck with my photography, and she drove away.

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I've been in scenarios like this numerous times before, parked on the side of the road for a while at night, all in the name of nighttime photography. Not once over the years has anyone stopped. Granted, I'm ok with that. I don't need help, and I have that small concern that maybe the person stopping might be looking to cause trouble (see, there's that inherent suspicion we all seem to have nowadays), it was really refreshing to have someone just stop to make sure everything was alright.

The whole experience just made for a little brighter and happier end to the day. While the Northern Lights show wasn't particularly impressive while I was doing my thing, the show of kindness by a stranger made the night.

UFO Sightings Reported in Minnesota in 2023

A total of 45 sightings have been reported via the National UFO Reporting Center across the state of Minnesota in 2023, including Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Rochester, Bemidji, Two Harbors, and elsewhere around the state. Here is a rundown of each sighting.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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