Minnesota River Interviews - Straubs - the Gully Devil's Dropoff

Minnesota River Interviews
Art and Barb Straub - Their Land
Back to map

"When we were growing up, this was just a shallow little brook coming from on top. As the land was cleared and farming occurred... the huge gullies began to develop, one coming from the north, one coming from the southeast."

 

 
Straub Gully
 
Gully or Devil's Dropoff
 
Straub gully2
 
Gully or Devil's Dropoff

Video Text: “But the Devils Drop-off didn’t always used to be here. At one time, the farm fields on all three sides were cleared come fall, so there was plenty of runoff.  When we were growing up, this was just a shallow little brook coming from on top.  As the land was cleared and [converted to large fields of corn and soybeans], the huge gorges began to develop: one coming from the north, and one coming from the southeast.  But imagine, there was a little country road on the other side that no longer exists, and the land continues to cave in. 

But in the last few years [the uplands have all been converted to grassland] except for 120 acres.  So the amount of runoff (even in a week like we’ve had in these past couple of weeks with 10-12 inches of rain) the runoff has just dropped away. So our dream is that this will eventually pretty much heal itself.  So that the geese up there don’t look down and wonder what’s going on.  But again you will notice there are no old trees along here, and this is where the road was, and on the other side is where the road ceases to exist. It has dropped off into the ravine.  This very same thing is going on up and down the Minnesota River Valley, wherever land is allowed to lay completely barren fallow during the winter time especially."



 

 
 
Interview Transcript

 

This page was last updated 8/08