Saturday, April 21, 2012

Walking a Volksmarch

For some time I've been thinking I should get back to doing Volkmarches. It is a good way to get some exercise and also see new places or see places with a new perspective. I discovered there would be one starting from the Caribou Coffee Shop near my apartment. Perfect. And thankfully, the rain did not materialize.

Here are some views along the 10K route. I headed along the river towards the Wabasha and Robert Street bridges. I usually drive along this route and missed seeing this lovely little seating area along the river.

Approaching the Robert Street bridge I got a good view of the railroad switch bridge.

This railroad spur crosses the river with a very low bridge. The operator sits in the little blue building and can move the switch bridge to one side so that boats can pass. This view caused me to remember taking a tour many years ago with the Iowa Historical Society. On that tour I learned that Abraham Lincoln, then a young Illinois lawyer, successfully argued the case the river had to remain open for boats -- that railroads could not build bridges across the river that would then forever prevent boats from moving on the river.

The route went up the hill to the top of the bluff and then over the Robert Street Bridge. From the bridge top I got a good view of Raspberry Island.

At the end of the bridge I wound around a large office building toward a trail along the river. There I found something that solved a mystery. This appears to be a water intake area on the river.

Last year at this time we were receiving daily updates about the possible need to evacuate due to the river flood. The problem was the if the river reached a certain level the city would have to shut down water to our part of the city, and the city could not allow residents to live in an area that didn't have water for drinking and sanitation. I was rather puzzled about this "water plant" and finally found it this morning!

I walked along the river for about five minutes and then took steps up to the deck of the Wabasha Bridge. The route continued on Wabasha through the downtown area of St. Paul and then wandered back to the Rice Park. Readers have seen this park below, for example, with the entry about the Winter Carnival.

I found some of Charlie Brown's friends. These are in a little park area near Landmark Center. Charles Schultz came from St. Paul and these friends are part of a salute and monument to his work.

I walked towards West Seventh Street and stopped for a coffee break. Then I continued along a street along which I usually drive. I had time to admire some of the old buildings.

The route turned off the street and headed back towards the river. I found myself in an area of old houses, perhaps late 19th century.

Above is a nice example. Along one side I found a lovely garden.

This garden also had a tree trunk carved into in a figure. One finds these all over town. When a tree must be cut, the home owner arranges for a carver to come to turn it into art.
About this time my camera battery died. And about 5 minutes from the end of the route the rain began. A nice way to spend a Saturday morning.

No comments: