"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

April 16, 2008

Minnehaha Falls

This morning, I did the photo journey again. But, since I'm too lazy to organize and upload the photos tonight, most of it will have to wait until tomorrow.

One of the places I often pass is Minnehaha Falls. Because I secretly have the soul of an 80 year-old spinster schoolmarm, I'm actually intrigued by historical landmarks and buildings. For the three people in the world who actually care about what's on the plaque, I killed my eyes so you don't have to. Just in case you're an 80 year-old spinster schoolmarm with failing eyesight. You're on your own with the map section though.

"The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board welcomes you to Minnehaha Park. The park consists of two levels: The upper level is maintained as an open picnicking area. Many of the city's traditional festivals such as Sven's Karnas Dao (? Can't really read those two last words) are held here. The lower level Minnehaha Glen is maintained in a natural state to preserve the natural and cultural history of the city, the combination and the contrast of the two provide you, the user, a variety of experience while in the park.

The lower glen offers interesting and simple lessons in geological, ecological and cultural histories of the area which are inscribed in plaques throughout the glen. Even from this, the receding of the St. Anthony Falls, up the Mississippi can be read from geological formations.

After glaciation, the Mississippi River was formed with a fall (St. Anthony Falls) near Fort Snelling. During thousands of years, this fall moved up the river towards its present location near the Third Avenue Bridge. Also after glaciation, the high land across from you was an island on the Mississippi with a channel on each side. As the St. Anthony Falls moved up the river it split to go round the island. Since the eastern channel was the shortest and had the softest underlying stone, the eastern fall passed the north end of the island before the western falls and robbed all of the water from the western channel. The abandoned western fall lies immediately to your left at the north end of the deer pen area.

Immediately to your right is the spot where Minnehaha Falls existed approximately five thousand years ago. It has receded 500 feet westward since its creation.

Since it is almost a mile to the confluence of the Minnehaha and the Mississippi with a total fall of 115 feet, we recommend a leisurely pace both going and returning.

A great deal of effort has been put forth to retain the natural beauty of the glen so please leave everything as you find it.

Minnehaha Park Lower Glen Development
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board - 1969"

Additional Info (courtesy of me): Fort Snelling was the first large European settlement in the area. It's about a mile or two south of where I was. Of course, there were the Dakota and various other Native American tribes settled in the area before then and French and English traders. St. Anthony Falls is a much larger waterfall a few miles north near downtown Minneapolis.


franscud said...

I always read markers too, on the odd chance they say something interesting, which they sometimes do. I'm 9 episodes into the Planet Earth series on DVD, so I'm a bit of a Nature geek right now. My latest post was even abstractly about erosion, rivers and water falls (well sort of). I patiently await the pics :).

Berryvox said...

Darn it. I just read the reviews on Amazon and now I want to see Planet Earth.

Canny Granny said...

Do I detect criticism of 80 year old spinster schoolmarms? I will be one of those in a mere score of years myself (a little less than a score in fact). I am shocked by your callow throwaway lines.

And sit up straight

Berryvox said...

Not at all! I completely aspire to be one. Well, not a schoolmarm. Children smell like dirt and cookies. *shudder*

Yes'm. :(