April 11, 2021

Under the I77 Bridge in Bloomington, Minnesota


Under the I77 Bridge in Bloomington, Minnesota
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 11, 2021

It was time to get my 2nd vaccine shot this week, so I was excited to get in there and get it done.  The nurse who administered my shot was more quick witted than last time.  I asked him after my shot was complete how long until I could start going to orgies and raves again.  He immediately responded, "As soon as the mask mandate is lifted."  I was pretty excited about this until Miss Sheri spoke up and reminded me that I still need her permission for those activities.  That quickly brought me back down to earth again.

I had the opportunity to visit the Mall of America this week for the first time since the pandemic began.  I was impressed with the number of people who were there shopping, but also surprised at the large number of stores that have closed.  Some of my favorites like the Apple store and the Microsoft store are completely gone.  It will be interesting to see how retail evolves as things get back to normal.

Miss Sheri  and I are always on the look-out for interesting hikes around the Twin Cities.  This week we were driving over the i77 bridge in Bloomington, noticed the trails through the wetlands and thought they may be worth a visit.

We parked at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Long Meadow Lake Trailhead.  It is part of the 14,000 acre protected wetlands established in 1976 to make sure the critters had a place to live as the Twin Cities continued to expand all around them.  We like wetlands.

The first thing you do when you get there is walk across a huge Truss Bridge.  The original creation was an 860-foot long Camelback through-truss bridge that was the longest in the state when it opened in 1920.   It was shut down to vehicles in 1993 and restored in 2017.  And we walked across it in 2021!

It's a very peaceful place and a pleasant walk on a cold and gloomy Saturday in April.

We saw all kinds of critters including this egret.  His green eyes twinkled at us as we walked by his presence.

We noted that the swans had very dirty heads after they kept dipping them deep into the mud below them.  I hope they were finding something good to eat because otherwise it didn't appear to be a very pleasant activity.

Every now and then we wandered off the path, but we didn't find much worth it to justify the wet feet.

Eventually we made our way to the I77 bridge and thought it would be fun to climb.  It gets pretty wiggly up here when the cars zoom by.

Damn shame what they did to that dog.

If you've ever wondered what it looks like under the I77 bridge, wonder no more.  Some very talented graffiti artists apparently live in the area.

We have 11 different photos zoomed in on this stick.  Could have sworn it was a dang bird.

On Saturday night, we had the pleasure of being dinner guests of our old buddies, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz.  It's the first time we've been in their house in over a year and had an absolutely wonderful time!

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