This week’s challenge I swapped up from last week…an adventure in another state. I know that I’ve been to Minneapolis quite a few times now, but this time I had a bit longer there to get out and about. And I spent that time outside seeing as it was a stunning evening and I was staying in a hotel close to the river. So I walked around the ‘Heritage Trail’, basically around the St Anthony Falls.
St Anthony Falls is a pretty impressive place for being in the middle of the twin-cities. It was originally the only set of falls on the Upper Mississippi River. It was a sandstone ledge that was eroding of its own accord (there is a decent flow in that river) at a rate of about four feet per year. A pretty decent concrete spillway is there now, plus a horseshoe ‘falls’, plus a lock (which is smaller than all the rest on the river so it was closed in 2015), plus a hydropower plant. Pretty busy little area, heck there used to be timber and flour mills here too.
The walk goes over the the ‘historic’ stone arch bridge. I love that these things are considered historic and amazing and necessary and great things like that, but then they have also removed a section of it to be able to get taller ships / barges up the river (through the now closed locks). There is a steel truss section in there now. The stone arch bridge was built in 1883 for the rail line and is still the only stone arch bridge across the Mississippi River – I can only assume that is because stone arches would restrict river traffic and the rivers here have always been such a huge part of commerce (something I find interesting due to the severe lack of river traffic etc in Australia).