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Misery and Short Life Rumbles through Kenwood

Misery and Short Life Rumbles through Kenwood

Never forget, Minneapolis is still a major railroad junction. This is the Twin Cities & Western line and that is three of their eight engines heading westbound through Kenwood on what used to be the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad’s main line out of the city. Their yards used to be where the Sam’s club is now, which is where St. Louis Park got it’s name. One of their lines went through the town in South Dakota that my dad grew up in. Out there, it had the nickname ‘Misery and Short Life Railroad’ — from the abbreviation ‘M & St. L RR’ on the engines.

Railroad Signal Replaced

Railroad Signal Replaced

Ever wonder what was below ground on a railroad signal? I hadn’t until I saw them pull one out of the ground along the Greenway Corridor bike trail. As I was approaching them I saw the thing swinging on the chain. Very strange to see, It’s up there with baby pigeons and parking meter coin collectors.

Minnehaha Creek Biketrail Under 35W

Minnehaha Creek Biketrail Under 35W

This is part of the Grand Rounds and the “Minnehaha Byway District” which includes the Minnehaha Creek, may parks, the parkway road and bike trail. This was the first trail that I biked on when I moved to the city, it goes from the bottom of Lake Harriet to the Minnehaha falls. They’ve been rebuilding 35W since before the old 35W bridge fell into the Mississippi. The bridge is almost done but they’ve almost completely destroyed the trail and it’s a rough ride. Here’s the trick… there’s a foot path on the other side of the creek; you only have to go a short distance on it and if you watch for pedestrians and play nice, it’s much easier. There’s a street bridge on the west side and a foot bridge on the east side, they are both easy to find.

Train Crossing the Midtown Greenway

Train Crossing the Midtown Greenway

I love the network of trails in Minneapolis! The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy tries to convert abandoned railroad right-of-ways to trails, but here in Minneapolis the trails share them. Around mid-morning, the trains are very active as the cross-country trains come in and the trans-yard trains begin the daily shuffle. This guy is from the Twin Cities and Western (TC&W), the morning train usually has three engines, which isn’t that interesting, but I looked up their website and found that they only have eight of them, so it’s almost half of all their motive power.  It’s fun being a geek in the land of infinite information…

I love summer on the prairie…

Beehive Fireplace, Lilac Park

Beehive Fireplace, Lilac Park

A few years ago I walked down to the sad little stone construction I noticed on my way to and from work. It was some form of fireplace, sadly left in the middle of a dangerous cloverleaf along highway 100 at 7. Recently this relic, which I’ve found out to be a Beehive Fireplace, has found a new home and has been lovingly restored. It’s been moved a short distance to a new park called Lilac Park, just off the Midtown Greenway Bike Trail at Highway 100.

 

There’s trail access, a handicap accessible bathroom and a few of the original picnic tables from when Hwy 100 was Lilac Way. It was constructed as a parkway and was the largest WPA project in the state. The Golden Valley Garden Club planted Lilacs along the parkway. Also, I just discovered the Nordic Ware tower right next to the park was “the first circular concrete grain elevator in the United States, and possibly in the world.”

Autumn Path

Autumn Path

Autumn colors on the shore of Cedar Lake, part of the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis.
Click on the photo for an enlargement!

This wraps up the autumn photos series, starting tomorrow I’ll be rolling out a series from downtown with people and buildings galore!