Thursday, May 29, 2008

City Bridges

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.


Silbs said...

Nice post, lovely images.

Kristen said...

Nice work, Dave - pleasure to read.

Travis Novitsky said...

Hi Dave,

Quite a nice blog you have here! Just wanted to drop a quick note and say thanks for checking out my blog and website.... I appreciate it. I have taken a bit of time and looked through all of your past posts... you have loads of good information in here. This latest post about kayaking through the bridges is very interesting. When I first saw the images I thought maybe they were taken in Europe somewhere... but lo and behold, they are right in Minnesota's own Twin Cities! That's so cool that there are places like that to be able to paddle. If you're ever up in Grand Portage, be sure and stop in at the visitor center at Grand Portage State Park and say hi (that's where I work for my 'day job'). Keep up the great work with the blog.... I'll be back to read about your latest paddling adventures!


DaveO said...

Thanks Travis, I'll do just that next time I'm at the border. Keep the great pix coming and touch base if you're down in this country also.