July 26, 2012

Normally, you can find me in my office early in the morning as I generally work from 4 or 5am to early afternoon when my brain functions best.  But today, when I saw it was only 70 degrees with low humidity at 8:30AM, I had to take advantage of the break in the heat wave.  So by 9, I was off to the Heritage Trail.

As I headed over the Stone Arch, I realized it has been a while since I’ve come this direction…today, the river is almost calm, although not down to the level we normally see this time of year; no water pouring off Hennepin Island by the SAF Water Lab; and the secret falls on the East Channel, while still audible, have shrunk back to a small stream and will, most likely, soon disappear.   I dawdled a bit, leaning on the rail to imagine a Hennepin Island thinned of some of its trees and encircled with a walking path, and then continued on my way.

Residents and visitors to East Bank must have had the same thought as I did- get out and enjoy it while you can – for the trail and parkland were full….St. Anthony Main itself was not quite awake yet, but folks were walking all over, and there were no vacant outdoor tables or benches at Wilde Roast.

Eventually, I found a spot and started through a white paper on Empowered Organizations and Social Maturity I had stuffed in my bag at the last minute – so I would not feel too guilty about being out and about this early in the workday-but seven pages were all I could absorb with so many welcome distractions around me.  So I soon headed across the grass for Nicollet Island.

The chain of orange floats on the East Channel near the Merriam Street Bridge is still broken, I see, or was it allowed to float free because of high water under the low bridge?   

Heading off the bridge, I chose to delete my favorite “loop” – the walk around Nicollet Island- because busloads of people were descending on Nicollet Island Pavilion – with squads and foot police directing traffic.  That and a look at my watch to see I had already been out and about for an hour,  sent me up the hill and onto Hennepin Avenue  and those wonderful cooling breezes as I headed into the home stretch.

Off the Heritage Trail now, these last couple blocks are my least favorite.  I smiled to see mothers with strollers headed towards the fountain in Gateway Park, but my side of First along the Post Office Parking Ramp is always a downer.  Sometime SOON, we have to do something about that!

Returning to my office, I see it is 11AM and 79 degrees.  I’ve managed to use up 2 good hours of thinking time and before long, I’ll need to close out the sounds of the city and put the AC back on.  But no matter how many times I’ve been on that trail, it always works its magic.  It’s as invigorating as a mini-vacation!




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