Overlooking A Lighter Shade of Green


Lower Mississippi River Trail (MRT) as viewed from an overlook on the upper MRT in St. Paul, MN

Although I’ve enjoyed adding a new twist to winter survival by getting out there on a fat trike, I still look forward to winter’s end, when the greens return. One thing nice about having four seasons is the constant changing of colors. Just about the time I get tired of the same scenery, it changes.


Looking down on the Big Rivers Trail from 35E bridge over the Mississippi. 

I’m always looking for new trails to explore to mix things up, but I also enjoy pedaling along on familiar trails, the same that is never quite the same. The Big Rivers trail is one of those familiar trails with amazing views of the bluffs overhead, the Mississippi River along side, and either downtown St. Paul or downtown Minneapolis in the distance. There are not usually many people on this trail and sometimes if I time it right I even get to see a train go by.  Once last spring I was cycling along feeling down about life in general when  a train went by with a conductor leaning out the window and madly waving away at me. My spirits were lifted and my pedaling became lighter again. It’s the little things in life.


Mendota Bridge and Ft. Snelling, the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. (The trails I’ve ridden on that side cannot be seen in this picture.)

I have this thing for bridges so every time I ride the Mississippi River Trail on the St. Paul side, I have to stop at this overview for a least a minute to look out over the Mendota Bridge. I enjoy looking at that bridge but I try to avoid having to cross it! I have visions of a rock flying up from one of the cars zooming past and hitting me squarely in the forehead! I suppose that would be an unusual and interesting way to die, but I think I prefer to live just a bit longer!  My favorite local trails are on the south side of the Mississippi, however, so I usually cross over on the 35E bridge instead. The 35E bridge is not as pleasing to the eye, but it has wider bike lanes and bump outs where I can stop and look at the views. That route does involve a lot more climbing, however, so there is that trade off.

It will still be a few months before I can see these views in light green again, but I might have to take the Fat Tad over to check out a winter view and continue the adventure. Memories are nice, pictures are nice, but then it is time to get up and live life moving forward again. And the Fat Tad has never been to St. Paul!




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