April 8, 2011

For the last couple weeks, each time I am downtown, I plan some extra time so I can spend a few minutes waking out on the Stone Arch Bridge to the Falls observation point just past the Locks to absorb the power of the rushing water spill over the apron…tumbling, churning and filled with white caps.  As I’ve stood there in awe, shivering, I recommit that somehow, some way, I will be back and can again call the central riverfront not only my passion, but my home once again.  And then, I sadly turn and head back to the West Bank and my car-trying not to dwell on those awful circumstances that took me away from my daily infusion of energy I once received from my beloved riverfront.

So, on Tuesday night as I sat in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District Design Guidelines meeting and learned the MPRB had announced that Water Power Park would reopen the next day, I was ecstatic! No matter the length of the to-do list for the next CRV start-up, I was going to take a break and enjoy the opening day!

So yesterday I made a sandwich, filled my water bottle, donned my walking shoes and headed out for my first trek of the season around the Heritage Trail.

As I came over the bridge from Nicollet Island to East Bank, my eye caught the small patches of brilliant color as the first flowers poked through the dull brown leaves along the pathway and I knew I’d made a good choice to come to the river for lunch.  I needed this!

As I glanced over at Riverplace and the closed Picosa, I was reminded of a small piece I had read in the paper earlier – WILDE ROAST will soon be filling that space- adding more enjoyment to the summer river experience.  It almost diverted me to make a stop upstairs at Sentinel to tell my friends Mary and Kristi how excited I was that my favorite coffee house in the city will now reside in their building – but the mist in the air above the falls beckoned me to keep going along the pathway.

The sun was shining and it was almost 60 degrees; the early birds were dining al fresco at Pracna; the Astor Courtyard was being cleaned; Vic’s and Tugg’s decks still stood empty; and then, there it was -the unlocked gate of Water Power Park.   As I turned in and headed for the bridge that would lead me onto Hennepin Island, I picked up the pace a bit – anxious to get out to the point and become enveloped in the majestic river that runs through our city.

It took me a while, of course, as I had to stop at every observation point along the way to snap a picture and take in the power – and chat a bit with others doing the same.  Somehow we recognized that shared love of the river and openly shared our excitement with each other-as if we were –not strangers- but all good friends- another sign of the power of the river!

I sat on a bench up on the point, ate my sandwich, and committed to myself that somehow, some way, next year this was not going to be a special excursion in from the burbs but an every day experience.  Eventually I turned my back on the scene I wait all year for, returned to Main Street and continued along the trail over the Stone Arch to West Bank and the walk upriver to the post office, Hennepin Ave Bridge and finally my car. 

And then it was a rush to get back- get ready, and head to Apres’ Open House – for a wonderful evening visiting with old friends  in the warehouse filled with wonderful eventscapes, canopies, great food and good conversation  about the upcoming season.

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the rites of Spring than the wonderful day I had yesterday!


  1. Is this the Cheryl Kranz who was my roomy in Hopkins MN when I worked for Western Airlines and you were at Carlson?????

    • YES! Only was at BI then I think. How are you? Where are you? AM sure there is a lot NEW in the last 30 or 40 years. Oh my.

  2. We are snowbirds and right now we are in Tucson, AZ. but home is New Richmond WI. Gaylen and I have thought of you so often and yesterday we got news that a friend of ours past away 2 years ago and we didn’t even know it. Anyway I told Gaylen that I am getting on this internet and looking for you! We should definitely get together this summer for a good old gab session!! We don’t know when we will be coming back because Gaylen had heart surgery a couple of weeks ago and we can’t leave until his Dr.s down here say we can drive back. BUT BE ASSURED YOU WILL BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN WE ARE ON OUR WAY HOME!!!

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