Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Walking in Moorhead

This is a walk that I will remember for a long time. Readers will need to get to almost the end to learn why.

I started this morning at C.J's Kitchen. This little restaurant gets high ratings on Trip Advisor, too. I never would have found it without first the review and then secondly Google Maps. One could drive down the street and never notice it.

It is almost like a diner.

At a few minutes after 7 AM, I was the only customer, but the smells of cinnamon rolls was wonderful. I elected, however, for a basic Midwest breakfast. 

Soon I was off to the start of the Moorhead walk. This means I crossed from North Dakota back into Minnesota. Moorhead is another location named again after a director of a railroad company.

The walk directions told me to park in the lot associated with a shopping center and then walk towards the bridge across the Red River. First I saw a classic old building. 

The etching on the top says it was constructed in 1898. Soon I was on the bridge over Red River, looking very calm and quiet on this June morning.

About midway across the bridge I saw pillars.

Each has a plaque for one of the branches of the United States military. 

I choose to show the Coast Guard marker, because the Coast Guard is often overlooked -- and it's also one of the forerunners of public health services in the United States. 

Embedded within the sidewalk are granite circles with maps illustrating the flow of the Red River of the North. This one does a good job of showing how this river moves like a snake. 

And this one says, "The Red River Valley is one of the flattest landscapes on Earth." That landscape is what causes all the trouble! 

The route then took me 10 blocks through a pleasant residential area with many interesting houses, both large and small.

 The photos above were taken a few minutes after 8 AM with the early morning sunlight dappling through the trees.

I arrived at the campus for Concordia College. 

It has a very pleasant campus. It was fun to walk through it.  The route map directs walkers to the bell tower, both to see it and also to count the bells in the tower as evidence that one actually was in this place. 

By the time I had completed the wander through the campus I had back-tracked 5 blocks of the walk. My next goal was to get back to Main Street and then turn right and the left to find the Usher's House. This didn't happen as planned for I got all messed up and detoured around by sidewalk construction. I was really hoping seeing the Usher's House was worth the extra walk. 

This building is located within a city park set along the banks of the Red River. It was built in 1936 by the WPA(Works Progress Administration), a program operated in Great Depression to employ primarily young men. Much of the work was done in public parks. We owe a great debt to the WPA for the infrastructure we still enjoy in public parks throughout the United States. Click here to read more about Usher's House.

Now I had only about three blocks to walk to return to my car. Suddenly my left knee began to burn and really hurt. Many years ago I badly broke my left leg, and it was left about 1/4 inch shorter than my right leg. Over time I've had lots of extra wear and tear on that knee joint. It had begun to ache over night and that's why I elected only to only do a 5K walk in Moorhead. But I've never had quite so much pain before. I was very glad to see the car. 

I asked Google Maps to help me find the freeway back to the Twin Cities. When I was taken by a McDonald's I hobbled in and got a glass of water and a coffee. Shortly thereafter I saw a gas station for which I have a discount card, so I got gas. Then I headed back to the Twin Cities, a 3.5 hour drive. 

Once in the garage, I gritted my teeth and unloaded my luggage and got up to my apartment. I found the ibuoprofen and took a double dose, propped my knee up with a pillow and went to sleep. 

Today as I write I'm able to walk again without too much difficulty. I'll surely remember the Moorhead walk and I'm very glad I decided to do 5K and had only 3 blocks left to walk when my knee blew out!

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