Monday, October 04, 2010


Minnesota Monday: Under the Bridge

This weekend, I tested out the ankle and rode my bike to Minnehaha Falls, pictured here. Minnehaha Creek runs right by my house, so it was a blast to trace its path through the city all the way to the Falls, which are close to the Mississippi River. This seems to be a great place for adventure of all types (I will describe a little of this week's intellectual adventure at St. Thomas tomorrow morning).

What's amazing is that you can do that at all. There is a bike path, though, which runs along the creek through a series of parks. It's remarkable-- you are in the middle of the city, but it feels like rural Vermont. The Twin Cities Marathon followed this same route on Sunday, and I can see why runners love that route.

At one point, the path ran directly under I-35. I stopped for a minute right under that massive freeway, the one that connects this place in one unbroken strand to Waco.

The shocking thing was how quiet it was there. You couldn't hear the traffic, just an occasional distant thump from an expansion joint. It was peaceful. After a moment just pondering that, I remembered the other time I have been under a freeway bridge-- in fact, under this same freeway, 1100 miles South.

If you have been to the Church Under the Bridge in Waco, then you, too, perhaps have found a moment of peace directly under I-35.

It is a small world, with long roads.

The road goes ever on and on...

That aside, how weirded out are you by the name "Minnehaha?" I think your state is laughing at me, and those are fighting words.
Lane-- Minnehaha Creek is laughing at you. It's true. It's laughing because it is a "creek" but is far bigger than the Rio Grande River.
Lets not be crazy here Osler, the Rio Grande is over 1,800 miles in length, with a drainage basin of something like 182,000 square miles.

Your silly creek is 22 miles long with a drainage basin of 181 square miles.

Thems the facts...

The Rio Grande lacks, uh, water. It is 1,800 miles in length of ditch, not actual river of any discernable size.

Look at that waterfall! Then take ten hours and drive down to Del Rio and check out the Rio Grande...
THere is a church under a bride?
Yeah but look at the RG down by me, or out around Amistad. It gets to a decent size.
RRL and Lane--

Look, I totally heart the Rio Grande-- it just kills me to see those empty parts (ie, in El Paso). Minnesota has a lot of surface water, and no neighboring nation sucking it away.
I've seen the Rio Grande, a number of times actually. Drive out to Big Bend and take a look at the Rio Grande. It gets fairly wide there too.

Yes, irrigation has had a significant impact on the amount of water flowing in the Rio Grande. But it is still more impressive than some creek.
Play nice, boys! It doesn't have to be a "my river/creek is bigger and better than yours" kind of discussion.
Remember: We can't all be stars, but we can all twinkle.
I should amend my statement-- Minnehaha Creek has more water that the Rio Grande in those parts (ie, around Presidio) where there is hardly any water. I'd certainly rather go rafting in the Rio Grande in Big Bend.

Texas has some things to lord over Minnesota, certainly (including, ironically, proficiency at professional hockey). In a general way, though, plentiful water isn't one of them.
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