On a wet but otherwise perfect October Sunday, about forty people gathered at the West Broadway Farmers Market to mark the end of the season. (almost! We still have one Sunday left on the 30th!) We started out at the regular site, just off of the Capri and Nice Ride kiosk near Logan and Broadway. From there we went to 26th, then up Emerson to Webber Park, and across to North Mississippi Regional Park. With a few dozen people of varying abilities, and an equipment malfunction, the ride took almost an hour. But biking it alone at a decent clip, one could probably make it in closer to twenty minutes.
Some folks brought out their customized bikes for one last spin before the weather turns cold.
Along the way, the devastation of the tornado was still prevalent, especially once we got to the river…
At the island where the heron rookery once stood, we were in for an amazing surprise:
Two bald eagles were roosting on a branch on the desolated island. Along this stretch of the Mississippi, the sight of bald eagles is both commonplace and breathtakingly majestic every time.
Once the troupe all arrived at the park, we heard from a park ranger and various other Mississippi River folks about many of the things that can draw us to the river. Me, my attention was unfortunately focused elsewhere.
This delicious spread was graciously provided by Jesse’s Cafe, operating out of the Sunnyside Deli at 1825 Morgan Avenue North.
As we ate, I noticed that the rock formations at North Mississippi Regional were oddly similar to those at Ole Olson Park in Hawthorne.
So I asked about it, and was told that they were from an old bridge over the Mississippi, and when that bridge was demolished, the rocks were re-purposed at our local parks. Does anyone know more about this little bit of NoMi river history? (assuming the bridge was in the north Minneapolis area of the river) Which bridge and how long was it in existence?
On our way back, we stopped at the boat launch. Here at least, is a place where people can easily go to the water’s edge.
Biking along 2nd Street North, there are some great views of downtown Minneapolis along this industrial corridor. Instead, I was on the lookout for Jabba the Hutt. I was told there is one structure in the area that in terms of shape and pockmarked texture, bears a striking resemblance to the infamous Star Wars gangster. City employees and others in on the pun often refer to it with that nickname. Jabba’s grandeur was obviously outdone by the eagles, but it was still a sight to see.
Eh, okay, not really I guess, but cut a Star Wars fan some slack.
Just in case you didn’t see the resemblance.
Once again, don’t be fooled by the time on the trip back. Traveling with a group slows things down. You can get from 26th to North Mississippi Regional Park in about fifteen minutes.
Come and join us this Sunday at the Farmers Market for a whole host of activities to celebrate a successful first year!
(Photos by Jeff Skrenes)