Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Low Down

Creek is low
Minnehaha Creek is but a trickle.

The Mill
This scene from "Minnetonka Mills". Now part of the the City of Minnetonka.
According to a sign near a gazebo, this was the central hub of train and boat traffic ealy in the pioneering days of Lake Minneotnka, which was rich with forestry and agricultural products. From my memory of reading: This is the birthplace of "Quaker Rolled Oats" which became "Quaker Oats". The mill itself was not powered by the running stream, but it served boat traffic. A small steam engine powered the mill, which was gone by 1890.

Pioneer wagon, Minnetonka
A farmer Bringing grain to the mill. These old photos were from posted photos, provided by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de Tonka - my way

First, let me say this. I am a bit of a wimp.

I will be riding the "Tour de Tonka" 38 mile course, not the longer 65 or 75 mile courses. In my past, I have ridden my bicycle across Minnesota many times. I have ridden from "Glacier" into Canada. I have even ridden for months across Europe. These were my younger years. It may happen again, but this time I will ride what I think is a moderate distance. The extra time will allow me to take some candid shots, and talk to other riders and volunteers (read pester).
In my short-course-defense, I will ride 3 miles to the start and then home. Bwah, haw haw.
Finally, I have a new HOME computer so: I AM PLANNING RACE DAY, SAME DAY coverage. Ground level. Stay tuned.
Riders: Look for the "Minnetonakscenes" plates. Then stand clear.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Carson's Bay Bridge

The Carson's Bridge

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Trashmen on Tour 2009

Trashmen in the  early 60s

Mark Peterson, a friend and local neo-realist painter who features classic cars, went to see "The Trashmen" at the Minnesota State Fair Auto Show. Quality classic autos. The Trashmen performed their hit song "Surfin Bird", and did spot-on renditions of "Walk Dont Run", and other 60s surf songs. I hope they did Pipeline. Mark said they were spectacular and were doing a hit European Tour. I find this very reassuring in these times. Haven't you heard about the Bird, well everybody knows: "The Bird is the word".
"Surfin Bird" was released by Soma records in 1963. Priciples Kay Bank and Amos (Soma backwards namesake) said sarcastically; "It is the worst record I've ever heard" and "It's a terrible record, see if you like it" - wheile asking Mercury records to distribute it. They did and it quickly sold one million copies. The teenaers had voted.
- reference: Martin Keeler's Minnesota Series.

Trashmen 2009

Life among the Cat tails

A private dock

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain, I don't mind.

Rain - I don't mind


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Historic Minnesota

Minnesota Historic Photos Book
Turner Publishing Company mailed me a copy of "Historic Minnesota" to review. I was pleased to have the opportunity to see and read about the Minnesota of my father and grandfather. It was a simpler and a much more rugged time. I have chosen a few of the older photos to feature. These are rare historic photos and many are somewhat rough. I have done some cropping and processing.

The Ice men
The title is a Chippewa Wedding.

Duluth Harbor 1890
Ship pulls into Duluth Harbor in 1890.

Minnesota Boat Club 1890
The Minnesota Boat club is a rowdy bunch 1890.

Stuck in the snow

Hastings spiral bridge
The Hastings Spiral Bridge.

Early Thursday by the Deephaven docks

Deephaven dock

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The "Freeway" - 100 hair raising miles per gallon.

The new General Motors
Seen in Excelsior, with a song in my heart.

Bachman Turner Overdrive:

"Let it roll down the highway
Let it roll down the highway,
Roll, roll.

Look at the sign, we're in the wrong place
Move out boys, let's get ready to race
454 coming over the hill
The man on patrol is going to give us a bill.

The time's real short, you know the distance is long
I'd like to have a jet but it's not in the song
Climb back in the cab, cross your fingers for luck
We gotta keep movin' if we're going to make a buck.

"Let it roll down the highway
Let it roll down the highway,
Roll, roll.

Ridin' the rails. The Dakota Trail

Abriged edition
On Sunday at 9am I rode the Dakota Line Trail from Wayzata to St.
Bonifacious and back. Yours truly, and two high school friends. It is a flat, flat, flat, shady paved trail. Did I mention flat? In other words, it is a fast and easy 26 miles out-and-back. Paradise for the leisurely rider and kick-ass for the fast rider (on off peak hours). The scenery of the Lake(s) and surrouding wetlands is lovely. I think it a perect way to see Lake Minnetonka.
There are maps and benches along the way, but no water or porta-potties.
Riders beware. Fortunately there was one unit in St. Boni.

Seton Lake
Its all water (and boats) under the bridge.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Dakota Trail

The 3 Rivers Park District officially opened the "Dakota Trail" on June 1,
2009. The paved section of trail stretches for 13 miles from downtown
Wayzata to St. Bonifacious.
I will be riding, weathr permitting, the trail for the first time this
weekend with a few highschool buddies, and giving it my unnofficial review
and I will post photos of the ride out and back. The Star- Tribune describes
it as "weaving in and out of Lake Minnetonka bays". This description begs
first hand examination, since it was built on a train bed.
Bicycle free. The beginning of the trail in Wayzata (6:30am).

Something colorful is left behind. I clambored down a rocky embankment, under the Wayzata Beach footbridge to take this shot.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Cottagewood 4th in review

General Store

The dedicated volunteers
Cool, cloudy weather probably surpressed refreshement sales.


A Bored Collie
A bored but patriotic Collie yawns - he bordered on sleep.

The "Shades" plus one

The "Shades" plus one posed for me. Their dunk tank concession was broken, leaving them free to be 4th of July models.

The Popcorn man



The Boy Scout standard bearers have added madrass shorts to their summer uniform

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A Cottagewood 4th this Saturday

Waiting for the Parade
The 4th of July celebration at the Historic Cottagewood General store begins at 9:30am. I have had a heads-up, there are orange detour signs in front of my house. After 10-no exit. Saturday morning the streets will be lined with more parked cars than any other day of the year. Little kids, and big ones, will be riding decorated bicycles. Many will be wearing patriotic outfits.... as well as their pets. There will be the world's shortest parade and many fun, kid-oriented carnival events.
I will buy a t-shirt.
I see some of my neighbors once a year.
This is the day.

Minnetonka Water Tower

Water tower
I was surprised to discover that one of water towers main functions is to provide pressure rather than just water. Municipal water pumps can then provide water by average demand, rather than having to size their municipal water pumps for "peak" demand.
The water tower also provides a reserve flow of water for storage or as a supply as needed.

This tower has recently been repainted. Note that "minnetonka" is presented in all lower case letters. Somewhere there was a meeting... The Handbook of Good English states: "The names of countries, states, provinces, counties, cities, towns, are obviously capitalized"
But then, this is after all, a minnetonka logo.