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Seeing the Cities from a St. Paul Perspective

Had a great day on Tuesday. Started out by taking a long walk across the High Trestle Bridge near Madrid, Iowa (about 20 miles north of Des Moines). It is a pretty spectacular bridge and includes LED lighting after dark. It’s part of the extensive bike trail system throughout Iowa. I definitely recommend a stop here if you’re in the area. The walk was .9 miles each way to and from the bridge, and the bridge itself is around a mile across. I only saw one other person during that entire time, which made it even better.


Got gas and headed to I-35 and drove north. Once I got closer to the Twin Cities, there were several good tunes one after the other! Here’s a list of some of the songs:

· “Pride (in the Name of Love)” – U2

· “East Bound and Down” – Jerry Reed

· “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind

· “The Boys are Back in Town” – Thin Lizzy

· “Relax” – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

· “Good Lovin’” – The Young Rascals

· “The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley

· “Dancing Queen” – ABBA

· “The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World

· “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” – Keith Urban


Because the walk to the bridge took longer than anticipated, I didn’t get to St. Paul until close to 2PM Central time. It was great to see Mike and the kids (all of them are home – first time I’ve seen all three together for years!). Mike took me for a long walk through the forested area near their house called Swede Hollow. It turns out Hamm’s beer used to be brewed in this area and some of the houses are known as “Hamm’s houses”. The Hamm mansion used to be at the top of the hill just down the street from Hotz’, but only a small column that used to mark the property remains. Once the brewery (and other manufacturing companies) shut down in the early 1980’s, East St. Paul has more or less languished until recently. There are a number of grand old houses in this area in various states of repair. You would never guess you’re only .5 miles from downtown St. Paul. Ann got home from work (she runs a pre-school in Minneapolis) and we took family photos and then it was time for dinner. Mike had to work Tuesday evening, so it was a good chance to catch up with Ann.

The weather was spectacular both days with hardly a cloud in the sky on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Wednesday morning Mike and I went for a fairly long walk through the neighborhood; there are so many great houses in this area, some larger, some smaller. It’s so quiet except for 7th Street, which goes directly downtown.


In the afternoon Mike took me for a ride around St. Paul and we admired the city and area from several vantage points as well as a stop to view the state capitol. There are so many large, old houses along Summit Avenue – they are truly spectacular. We also ventured into Minneapolis for a bit and followed the Mississippi River from that side. Finally, at the last stop you could see the skyline of Minneapolis in the distance.


We ate outside at a nearby pub for dinner and then took another walk with the dogs around the neighborhood. Ann made rhubarb sauce which tasted delicious on a small scoop of ice cream.


It has been a fun visit and great to reconnect and see the Cities from a new perspective – getting up early to venture west and enter South Dakota. More to come!


St. Paul and Minneapolis: A Shared Border but Worlds Apart

St. Paul has a completely different vibe than Minneapolis. St. Paul (at least this part) feels calm and quiet, while Minneapolis is much more frenetic in feel. As Mike once told me, St. Paul is the last city in the East and Minneapolis is the first city in the West. Minneapolis is organized on a grid pattern, while St. Paul follows the contours of the topography. Mike has also indicated that the neighborhoods in St. Paul are much closer knit than they are in Minneapolis. In addition, the way the cities are run and managed is completely different. It is interesting that the two cities that share a border and a river can be so different in feel. I’ve not ever spent much time in St. Paul, so it is interesting to get to see this city from a new perspective.


Mileage driven between Des Moines and St. Paul: 270.8 miles

Total so far: 1,307.7 miles


Selected photos from this leg are below. If you would like to see all the pictures so far, you can click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ELhb6pWuS3YVLNGs9


Top row (L to R): Mississippi River from Indian Mounds Park, Mike and Ann's home, out for a walk in Swede Hollow

2nd row (L to R): St. Paul and Minneapolis skylines; Indian Mounds Park; State Capitol

3rd row (L to R): View of St. Paul; Catholic church; High Trestle Bridge (near Madrid, IA)

4th row (L to R): Hotz family; High Trestle Bridge (near Madrid, IA)



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1 Comment


Bev Jahner
Bev Jahner
May 13, 2021

Very good!! Enjoy seeing all the things you are seeing and the people. Been a long time since I have seen Mike!! Love Mom

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