I Live in the Best Place in the World

October 8, 2012

Above: View of the Mississippi River looking south from the Franklin Avenue Bridge. Fall colors from September 25, 2011. The sky was even more blue. Click on the image to view an enlargement—Better yet, come and visit Minneapolis in the fall!

Yes the river is a bit low, let's just get that out of the way. I think it was about noon when I took this. It was about 60 degrees and I had just just been on a 20 mile bike ride. I finished my ride and got my camera and came back to the bridge to take this photo to show you how lovely it is here. 

We've had some cooler mornings and I keep thinking that "Today I'm going to have to get the tights out," but that just doesn't happen. I keep riding in a short-sleeved t-shirt and cycling sorts. (The first mile is a little brisque, then it's easy-peasy.)

Last Monday, riding down West River Road (that's on the right bank in this image) I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest (not just because I was working hard, and I was, but) because it was so beautiful. Leaves were all different colors and golden trees glowed next to dark purple foliage, and everywhere dropped leaves were being scattered by the 20 mph gusts. There were still enough leaves in the trees that the sun filtered through making everything look like Maxfield Parrish had just painted it.

This is THE Mississippi River. The river Mark Twain wrote about. The river Indians, fur traders, and settlers traveled along. The river along which thousands of birds migrate very year.

I live near THE Mississippi. Every day I'm grateful that my mentor Bob suggested I come up here to go to graduate school. The second day here, my second day running in my new neighborhood (I was a distance runner back then), there was a temperature inversion and a foggy mist held close to the river. As I ran along the parkway I could see down the banks to the river. I had a visceral understanding of the Impressionists on that day. "I get it," I said to myself as I ran alongside colors I'd never seen before.

I've been getting it every day since.

p.s. This morning and a couple days last week the tights finally came out—it's still stunningly beautiful here, just a little bit too cool for me to wear shorts when I cycle.  

    • Margo
    • October 8, 2012

    I love that river too Roz. Though when I lived by it, it was at it’s southern reaches. I liked to watch the sun come up over the river there was always something new and interesting to see. No fall colors though, it must be glorious. Take that journal with you and get some of that color on the page!

  1. Reply

    I live near the Missouri, so I know JUST what you’re saying! Gorgeous…

  2. Reply

    Nice post about Old Man River.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Ken. You can see it from your window can’t you!

  4. Reply

    Kate, yes, you understand. It shows in all your wonderful landscape watercolors!

  5. Reply

    Margo, I’m glad you have had a chance to live by the Mississippi. No fall sketches here for me because I find I just can’t capture landscapes (I need to go take a landscape painting class from Kate!). And today there is rain, which we need, but which is knocking down leaves as I sit here typing. So the brilliance is over. But not the cycling—it isn’t supposed to rain tomorrow!
    Thanks for writing.

  6. Reply

    I forwarded a link to this post to my son, telling him I thought he’d appreciate it. His response was: “Yes, I definitely appreciated that post. That bridge the picture was taken from is about half a mile away from the first apartment we lived in here. We used to walk across it all the time.” The apartment he refers to was VERY close to where you live. He and his wife have just bought their first house – to be moving mid-November. Not sure where it is in relation to the river.

  7. Reply

    Cheryl, since we live near the U it’s not unusual that a young couple would have lived here. I’m glad that they have the excitement of a first house and hope the move goes well. (This is the couple I met on your visit to the Twin Cities isn’t it? Perhaps you have more children and I’m confused.)

    Walking across Franklin Avenue Bridge so often I know they know exactly how I feel. Thanks for writing!

  8. Reply

    Yes, you actually met Jessica, my daughter in law. Brian, my son, had just come down with a cold so didn’t join us. And Brian is our only child, so you’re not confused at all.

  9. Reply

    Cheryl, well I was still confused because I thought I’d also met Brian. But I do remember Jessica as a very engaging young woman! If you come back, let me know so we can catch up. I don’t eat Chocolate, Chocolate Cake any more (the last 6 pieces—I know I don’t give up easily—weren’t tasty to me, so what is the point; they have changed chocolate before, so maybe that’s it again—coffee drinkers will love it still) but I love to chat.

    Hope you’re making books and filling them.

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