Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Minnihaha Creek Bed Ride & Mark Twain Character Troglodyte

With rain coming this weekend, I wanted to try riding the dry (mostly)  Minnihaha Creek bed before it flowed again.  I parked at Fort Snelling and rode to the falls.  First I headed west under the bridges below Minnihaha Dr. and Hiawatha Ave.  This route ended when I hit a dam a hundred yards or so upstream.  I spent a few minutes visiting with a man who frequents the location to drink.  He suggested I try the downstream side of the falls.

Quick hike-a-bike down the stairs and I was riding the cobbles shown in the picture.  The rocks are large but flat enough to ride easily.  What a blast it was working my way down toward the Mississippi. I wore old shoes and committed to getting wet.  I was able to ride through most of the standing water, but spun out on slippery moss once the depth got about two feet.  The water was surprisingly warm as I waded feeling my fat tires float the bike against my hands on the bars and seat.

As I rolled onto the beach marking the mouth of the creek into the Mississippi, a group of young men approached me.  The leader, who reminded me of the King from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, wore a top hat oddly sitting above his swollen black eye.  His hands held several apple-halve sized rocks. He informed me that I had scared away his dinner and pointed his club like hands towards two ducks swimming out in the river.  He said he and his companions were staying in a cave in the bank just south of where we were standing.

Deciding that it was time to get out of there, I let him know that I had seen fish trapped in some of the pools upstream.  Then rode off.  This felt like it could have become a dangerous situation.

I found a slightly different channel on the way back to to the falls, hoisted my bike on my shoulder and hiked up the stairs to the top of the falls and rode home.  The fat bike did it's job; another adventure on a Wednesday afternoon.