GSM 2017 Mississippi Gorge Bike Ride
Oct 9, 2017Public
Photo: Sunday, October 8, 2017: Our tour started in Minnehaha Park, which was established in 1883. (See next photo to read text.)
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Photo: We gathered on a gorgeous fall day at the area overlooking Minnehaha Falls. The temperature was in the 60s and the sun was shining brightly - a perfect day for a bike ride.
Photo: Minnehaha Falls was a favorite subject of pioneer photographers, beginning with Alexander Hesler's daguerreotype in 1852. Although he never visited the park, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow helped to spread the waterfall's fame when he wrote his celebrated poem, The Song of Hiawatha.
Photo: The falls are located on Minnehaha Creek near the creek's confluence with the Mississippi River, near Fort Snelling. More than 850,000 people visit Minnehaha Falls each year, and it continues to be the most photographed site in Minnesota.
Photo: Plaque explaining the geology of Minnehaha Falls, erected by GSM in 1953. GSM will install a new multi-colored acrylic plaque near the Falls in spring, 2018.
Photo: Randy explains where we will head next.
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Photo: We are all ready to start pedaling.
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Photo: Our next stop is on the Ford Parkway Bridge over the Mississippi River, leading from Minneapolis to St. Paul.
Photo: The Intercity Bridge, more commonly known as the Ford Parkway Bridge (and sometimes referred to as the 46th Street Bridge), is a reinforced concrete arch bridge that spans the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul. It connects 46th Street in Minneapolis with Ford Parkway in Saint Paul. The bridge is historically significant as one of the largest reinforced concrete bridges ever built in Minnesota. It was built in 1925-1927.
Photo: The bridge overlooks this dam on the Mississippi River. Ford Dam, officially known as Lock and Dam No. 1, is on the Upper Mississippi River and is located between Minneapolis and Saint Paul just north of the confluence of the Mississippi with the Minnesota River at Mississippi River mile 847.9, in Minneapolis. The dam portion was previously owned by the Ford Motor Company, which operated a hydroelectric power station to feed electricity to its Twin Cities Assembly Plant on the east side of the river. It was sold to Brookfield Power Co. in April 2008.
Photo: The dual-lock facility is operated by the St. Paul district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mississippi Valley Division.
Photo: MINNESOTA ROCKS!:  In 2006, Public Art Saint Paul explored the ongoing power and vitality of traditional stone carving by producing an International Stone Carving Symposium, called Minnesota Rocks! PASP convened artists from China, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Zimbabwe and Minnesota to share creative perspectives and create sculptures from Minnesota stone.
Photo: (Randy looks stumped by a question!) Each artist selected and carved a large stone, with the creative process on view to the public for six weeks, drawing 13,000 visitors to the site and reaching a worldwide media audience. This piece by Salah Hammad of Egypt is titled "Family Hug". It was installed at the intersection of Mississippi River Blvd S and Woodlawn Ave, Saint Paul, MN.
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Photo: As can be seen, Hidden Falls has been much altered by human development, not least of which is that the creek which feeds it has been confined underground. The terminus of the  conduit which contains it can be seen at the top of this photo.
Photo: Hidden Falls Regional Park: The park dates back to 1887, when it was selected by Horace Cleveland, a nationally known landscape architect and park planner, as one of four major park sites for the City of Saint Paul. Except for the use of a portion of the land as a tree nursery, no improvement was made in Hidden Falls Park until 1936-37, when the WPA carried out an extensive improvement program on the site.
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