One More Walk

After the deluge of yesterday afternoon, look what I woke up to:

There was also a “wintry mix” forecast, which I experienced when I took one more walk before checking out of my room. Wintry mix! In May!

I had a bit of time to kill before my flight so I took one last walk of Minnesota neighborhoods.

I found this sculpture when getting to the start of the walk. Note the black framing in pictures is due to my camera’s lens not retracting all the way. I bump it open when I notice, but there are times I don’t notice.

New building going up here.

A grand vista of the art museum.

And a picture of the newer wing.

There were so many good apartment buildings in Minneapolis! I love the arches on this one, and clearly so do the current owners, given the name.

Behind the art museum is a college.

Another of those houses that make me weak in the knees.

I love all three of the signs on this sign. What happened on the 1989 Arbor Day???

In Portland it sometimes it seems that every single block hosts a houseless person. But this was one of the only sign of homelessness I spied in the Twin Cities. I saw people who looked like they were down on their luck, but they didn’t look like they were also living in a tent on the sidewalk or an old RV.

Informational sign telling us of a huge lovely house that is no more.

Look at this little gem!

And across the street this great church!

Some beautiful stone.

And a sort of mini castle.

I loved seeing a few different stages of development here. The three on the left, probably all built around the same time. Then the two on the right, also probably built around the same time. Were they built before or after the freeway was put in? For the first set, definitely before, for the second set, maybe after?

From the looks of that dirt pile, there is a big freeway project happening.

Gorgeous little mansion down the street from my lodgings.

Statue and center that are directly across the street from that lovely little mansion.

Walk over, I packed up. I left the book of neighborhood walks at the house, but first I added notes pointing out the three walks within walking distance of the address.

And then I took the Green Line all the way to downtown St. Paul. On the way there I looked out the window on one side of the car.

On the way back, I looked out of the opposite window.

I learned that I have some St. Paul exploring to do. Its downtown has a great number of beautiful buildings. Also, I saw the MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) headquarters!

After that, it was back to the airport for a flight home.

What a lovely trip!

Various tiny state natural areas

Today we needed to get gas and, after a stop in Tillamook to refuel both car (gas) and people (food), we explored some random places.

Munson Creek Falls State Natural Area. It’s not often that my life arranges itself so I can notice a sign and then take a detour to explore what’s going on with that sign. But this was vacation and I could!  We took the turn and were rewarded with a short hike to this lovely viewpoint, which the state website tells me is 319 feet tall, and the tallest waterfall in the Coast Range.

It must be something to see after a good rainstorm. Look at all those trees piled up. This area is also a salmon spawning ground.

Self portrait at the falls.

Sitka Sedge State Natural Area was our next stop.  Here’s what the website says about this park: “Sitka Sedge State Natural Area is all about the views–of open water, tidal flats, saltwater marshes and forested wetlands of Sand Lake estuary; of the estuary animals, birds and plants; and for those willing to hike, beach views stretching from Haystack Rock to the south and north to Cape Lookout.”

We did indeed see all those views.  Here’s a tidal flat.

And a salt marsh.

I became less enamored of the trail when it turned to sand. I don’t love hiking in sand as I learned on this hike in Olympic National Park in 2016. 

However, we did make it to the beach, just in time to see this contraption fly by.

The signs alert to a Western Snowy Plover management area. There are a few areas along the coast where activities are restricted during the Snowy Plover nesting season. I was excited to lay eyes on these areas because I remembered the letters to the editor published when these regulations were put into place. There were angry feelings.  “Why can’t I let my dog run on the beach?!?”

This natural area had a very nice bathroom, and also many places to lock your bike, as well as a bicycle assistance station. Being right on the Oregon Coast Bike Route, it makes sense to have these amenities.

Our last stop was Clay Meyers State Natural Area at Whalen Island. Here we took another walk until we found the ocean. 

Cape Lookout Hike

Cape Lookout, while being an excellent state park–the campground is right on the beach–also has an incredible hike called the Cape Lookout Hike.

And we saw a whale!!!!!!  This was the first whale I’ve ever seen in person. It was very exciting.

Many other people also stopped to take a picture of the whale. This dog wasn’t super interested in what we were looking at, but waited patiently for the humans to be done with their sightseeing.

Matt checks out the drop from the edge. (Of note: the black in the corners of this picture are because my lens cover was not fully retracting.)

The water was very sparkly in the sun.

Our view at the trail’s end.

What I thought was a buoy turned out to be a small boat. (You’re looking at a camera in maximum zoom.)

Self portrait at Cape Lookout.

Eating in Tillamook

We hadn’t visited the Tillamook Creamery’s visitor center since they had done the renovation, and it was fun to see the improvements they made. It’s now even easier to buy things, from souvenirs to ice cream.

I really like the profile of the new building.

Which is immortalized on one of the new pressed penny designs. But also check out the one with the bus on it!

A friend recommended Tacos la Providencia for a meal and so we went. It turned out to be a food cart.

There was a covered area next to the food cart and also a building where one could eat inside if the weather was not very good.

We ate outside and had a delicious meal. It was one of those delightful post-hiking feasts where the food is amazing.

On the way back to Tillamook

More gorgeous coast views.

I liked how each of the interpretive signs had bases that reflected their subject matter.  Way to bring it, interpretive signs.

This was also the location where I ran into Patrick, one of the lifeguards at the pool. He had come with his friends for a day hike.  I let him know I wouldn’t be swimming this week, due to vacation.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker

We had some time before my plane left, so we had a hearty brunch and headed over to look at some outdoor sculpture.

Empire by Eva Rothschild

Where is this little duck hanging out?

Right under the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje Van Bruggen.   I had seen pictures of this iconic piece, but in person, I was surprised to find that the cherry sprayed water, which was a delightful addition.

Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch.  Love that blue!

Sara as Hephaestus by Matthew Monahan.  I really liked the texture of the metal. (In the sculpture, not in the Sara) We walked to the car passing by Loring Pond where I got this lovely picture.

And then it was to the airport, where I had to bid my hosts goodbye.  Thanks much to Shawn and Sara for being such excellent hosts.