Sunday, March 17, 2013

Something new

On the parkway along the Mississippi River, at a spot where the road curves in a horseshoe shape near the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, there's a mysterious-to-me little trail that veers off into a ravine a few steps below the popular pedestrian path.

That isn't even new to me, exactly. I run on the river road often, as I've written before, and there's a sign at the little trail's start that briefs the reader about ice climbing somewhere down the path. As a runner who logs most of her miles alone, though, I'm not prone to ducking off a well-traveled path to explore a pretty isolated trail, so I think I had just stopped considering this trail an option. Today, though, I saw a big group of hikers trekking along the ravine below me, and on a whim, I decided to follow the well-defined path in the snow to check it out. What's down there?

Guess what? As I gleaned from quick internet research afterward, the little ravine has a name. It's a real park! It's called Shadow Falls Park.

And then I found what I have to guess is Shadow Falls! It was in seasonal transition, like the rest of the neighborhood. Ice-climbing wasn't remotely possible, but the ice wasn't gone, either. A persistent water stream was rushing over the rocks.

Here's exactly what I saw, which made me gasp dramatically. (I was having the best time.)

I crept closer:

And a little closer:

Standing next to the half-frozen waterfall, listening to water streaming down, on a cold and bright Sunday morning, in a silent space in my home state's capital city, steps from a path my feet have touched hundreds of times, I was in awe.

There is always something new to discover.

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