Appreciate Where You Live

Lexi & Pinky on the TrailI’ve talked before about my soft spot for Detroit, but this Chicago Reader article about cool things to do in Detroit actually makes me want to visit the Motor City. It probably helps that I also have a soft spot for funky art and abandonded/decaying places (i.e., urban prairie and decrepit buildings, though I’ve only ever done urban exploring vicariously).

A visit to Detroit is do-able but unlikely, but the article did make me think more about my current locale and what kind of things here in the Twin Cities would be worth a vacation to check out. That’s kind of a weird concept, imaging where you live as a vacation spot. I usually think of vacation spots as places you have to drive cross country to get to and normal people don’t actually live there. I mean if you lived in a vacation spot, where would you go on vacation?

But weird questions aside, what’s so cool about the Twin Cities?

Minnehaha Creek & the MississippiSometimes I get so absorbed in day to day life I forget to get out and enjoy my surroundings. So this morning Lexi and I went on an adventure to see what’s so cool about the Twin Cities. After some deliberation, we went to Minnehaha Park because it has lots of trails (my requirement) and a playground (Lexi’s requirement). First we checked out the Minnehaha Falls and then followed Minnehaha Creek all the way to its confluence with the Mississippi River.

Along the way we saw a turkey, a squirrel, a lot of caterpillars, a chipmunk and a great blue heron. Lexi claimed to see a monkey, a bear and a snake. Lexi also played in the mud alongside the creek, I carried her across more mud, we climbed a stairway to nowhere and we watched a barge go by. Most of the time we were deep in the river gorge in the middle of the forest. For as long as I’ve lived here it amazes me that you can be in the middle of seeming wilderness and be right next to an international airport and highways. There’s quite a lot to explore beneath the concrete jungle.

Stairs Under ConstructionIn the end we stopped at what has to be the last old school playground in the city. It included swings, a standalone metal slide, standalone monkey bars and one of those climbing things shaped like a rocket. All were a faded, rusty brown color. There was nothing plastic or colorful in sight.

I don’t know if that’s worth driving 12 hours for, but it was pretty cool and we had fun. It was a good reminder that there are a lot of fun things to do in the Twin Cities, a lot of things that can be easily overlooked, forgotten or taken for granted.

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