Maps are great for evoking images for a songwriter like Gretchen Peters, who wrote this song. She loves maps for the names of the towns and cities, and the sorts of images they can conjure in her imagination. "I can just get lost in a map, very easily," Peters told Songfacts
. "It's like a fresh new well, looking at a map." This song came about from a road trip she was planning out West or to the upper Midwest towards the West. "I was thinking about going up that way, and I saw the name St. Cloud, and I just thought, what an evocative name. I had really no particular image of what that place would be like, except I knew it was in Minnesota, so it must be snowy. But I hadn't been there, and so I really just started with that name. And I remember really well the day I was writing. I didn't finish it in one day, but the day I sort of started it and got the main bulk of that song. It was snowing in Nashville, and that I'm sure was responsible for a couple of the lines, like 'With the snow falling down around you like a silent prayer,' and those sorts of things."