Thursday, May 29, 2008
Last night I returned to Lake Calhoun, which is kind of the default lake for after work paddling. Its in the heart of Minneapolis, central for city dweller and suburbanite alike, and there is enough scenery (both human and natural) to keep a paddler interested. ISK holds their traditional Wednesday night paddles there. The weather was absolutely perfect last night, 65F (`19C) with a light southeast breeze, minimal humidity and the late May sun shining brightly. In fact it was so comfortable that I just couldn't bring myself to pull the tuliq out of the day hatch and tip over.
Last night for some reason my brain focused on the bridges. We launch at the south end of Lake Calhoun and then head north to Lake of the Isles, through a channel to Cedar Lake, and then through a narrow culvert to Brownie Lake. Not counting the bike trail bridges and the culvert I believe we go under 5 bridges, most of which are fine arch structures, very unlike the 35W bridge which now resides in the Mississippi River and is rapidly being rebuilt. This time of year fisherman line the areas along the bridges and walkers, joggers, cyclists, roller bladers, and every other sort of outdoor propulsion are making their way around the lakes. People are unusually friendly in the spring, most likely because they are giddy to be out in the sunshine in a T-Shirt after being cooped up indoors or surviving outdoors in so much clothing that they can't be readily identified. The bridges are fun, historic, architecturally interesting, and lend a nice additional element to the after work paddle. The Minneapolis skyline is in the background and its really a pretty nice evening paddle. Now if I can only find something else to focus on the next dozen times I paddle the city lakes, life will be good.