Boating on the Mississippi River on Father’s Day…Minnesota historical sites….

Greg, Camille, Miles, Madighan, and Maisie on the Jonathan Padelford on the Mississippi River on Father’s Day.

On Father’s Day, Tom and I separately joined our respective families for the day’s activities. He went with Tammy and TJ to a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis while I joined Greg, Camille, and the three children for a paddle-wheel boat ride on the Mississippi River.

A solitary duck was standing on the dock while our boat took off from the pier.

With only one camera and Tom off to the Minnesota Twins game, I was the only one of us in possession of a camera. He took some photos at the game using his phone, which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.

We wished there was enough time in everyone’s schedule for us to be together with our families as events arise. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work well, and we find ourselves in different directions several times a week.

The closest bridge is the 10th Avenue Bridge.  The bridge behind it is the I-35W St. Anthony Falls bridge, the replacement for the I-35W Mississippi River bridge, which collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13, injuring 145.  See details below. From this website:
The I-35W Mississippi River bridge (officially known as Bridge 9340) was an eight-lane, steel truss arch bridge that carried Interstate 35W across the Saint Anthony Falls of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. On August 1, 2007, it suddenly collapsed during the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The bridge was Minnesota’s third busiest, carrying 140,000 vehicles daily.[ The NTSB cited a design flaw as the likely cause of the collapse, noting that a too-thin gusset plate ripped along a line of rivets and asserted that additional weight on the bridge at the time of the spill contributed to the catastrophic failure.
Immediately after the collapse, help came from mutual aid in the seven-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area and emergency response personnel, charities, and volunteers.  Within a few days of the collapse, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) planned a replacement bridge, the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge. Construction was completed rapidly, and it opened on September 18, 2008.”

It not that so much that we mind being apart for a portion of the day. It’s more about trying to experience both of us together with each other’s respective families when possible. Luckily, we’ve been able to have it work out on a few occasions, with hopefully more in our remaining 17 days in Minnesota.

As we entered the first lock on the river cruise. These locks are the most northerly locks on the Mississippi River.

When my two sons were young (now ages 47 and 50) and we were a one-parent family (I was divorced at a young age), on a few occasions, I took them on the Jonathan Padelford riverboat for cruises on the Mississippi River. I wish I could remember the last time we did this. 

The massive gates behind us closed after we entered the central area of the lock.  The water began to rise.

Most likely, it was before 1977 when I purchased our boat, which we kept docked at a marina on Lake Minnetonka during the short summer months. In the cold winter months, we stored the boat (we progressed in the size of the boats over the years) in an indoor storage facility in the country.

As the water was rising in the lock.

Once we had our boat, I doubt we went back on the river other than on a few group activities planned with friends, co-workers, or through school activities. With the cost and required upkeep of owning a boat, it was impractical to pay fees for other boating expeditions as a single parent.

Although I haven’t felt nostalgic since arriving in Minnesota (other than seeing and spending time with the people we love) and when driving over the Gray’s Bay Bridge last week when we visited friends Connie and Jeff, I felt a wave of nostalgia wash over me as we made our way along the Mississippi River on Father’s Day.

The Stone Arch bridge, from this site, was “built by railroad baron James J. Hill in 1883. The bridge allowed for increased movement of people and goods across the river. It served as a working railroad bridge until 1985 but is still seen as a symbol of the railroad age. Rehabilitation of this National Historic Engineering Landmark began in 1980. Traffic on the bridge is now characterized by a much slower pace. Mostly used by walkers and bicyclists, the bridge is one of the best ways to enjoy the view of St. Anthony Falls.”

The familiar buildings comingled with the new buildings reminded me of the love I’d felt for Minnesota for over 40 years.  For Tom, this was over a lifetime since he was born in Minneapolis many moons ago. Minnesota is the only home our children knew, with Tom’s two children, Tammy and TJ (now ages 46, 42), having been born here.

Minneapolis is a world-renowned cultural center.  The Guthrie Theatre is recognized for its quality productions and thought-provoking artistic displays and renditions. Click here for more details.

My eldest Richard was born in California, and my son Greg was born in Bay City, Michigan. But, I moved to Minnesota when Richard was a toddler and Greg was an infant. It was the only home they’ve known. 

As shown, Greg still lives in Minnesota as a family of five, and Richard has lived in Nevada since he was 21 years old. Soon, in 17 days, we’ll be staying with him in Henderson for a three-week visit.

The famous Gold Medal Flour building has been vacated, and the flour production has been moved to another location. The building was sold to a developer to be built as future condominiums.

The kids enjoyed the boat ride with that precious child-like wonder we all find adorable with eyes wide open.  This wasn’t their first time on a riverboat on the Mississippi, but it quickly could have been based on the smiles on their faces and their diligent observation of everything around them. 

Later in the day, Tom and I reconnected at the hotel, after which, once again, we headed out for dinner at Champ’s, a local favorite at the moment. We’ve only found a few restaurants befitting my eating habits that stay within our daily budget during this period. Fine dining is not on the agenda during this period.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos from Tom’s Father’s Day, Minnesota Twin’s game with Tammy and TJ. The remaining river photos will be posted shortly.  See you soon!
Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 20, 2016:

In Bali, one of our two cooks went outside to greet the peanut vendor to make a purchase. For more photos, please click here.