Organic Foods and Plenty of Cold Beer

I went back to the Guthrie yesterday morning to see it in daylight. Architect Jean Nouvel wanted to create an unique observatory for viewing the Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls, so he designed the “Endless Bridge”, a 178-foot walkway extending from the side of the building with a plexiglass wall at the end and mirrored surfaces all around. It’s gorgeous and the reflection of the too-perfect-to-be-believed blue sky and puffy clouds gave me some very fun compositions to play with.

Below, I could see hundreds of people at an open-air market, which turned out to be the Mill City Farmers Market, held there each Saturday morning. I was told the market is the brainchild of Brenda Langton, the chef/owner of Spoonriver Restaurant where I had some killer polenta with roasted veggies the night before. The vendors at the Market all offer organic and locally produced foods. I spent enough time shooting photos, chatting and people-watching that I could call it lunchtime and try a sweet potato taco from the Chef Shack – to die for!!  As I sat on the steps having lunch, this little sweetheart smiled up at me from beside her Mom. When I smiled back, she marched right up and sat down beside me and announced that she hadn’t worn her sandals this morning because she wanted to wear her green shoes and she is two years old! (And, just in case I don’t quite get how many two is on one hand, she showed me with both hands!)

By the time I crossed the river, the Blubber Run was just finishing up. It’s a 5K run, walk or get there any way you can. Participants show up in costumes and the rest stops feature cold beer, so you can imagine how much fun was had! I met a couple of friendly pirates who were more than happy to strike a few poses.

The Oktoberfest was well underway with two stages for live music and dancing, funnel cakes, brats and beer everywhere! I was sorry not to catch the Daschund Races and Costume Contest though! After a couple of great conversations with some fellow travelers, I heard the raindrop calling – and it was time to move on!

To be honest, all the activity and the city energy, while fun, had left me a bit drained. So, when I saw my lodging in St. Paul, it seemed just right! The Covington Inn is a 1946 tugboat, retired after 30 years of pushing massive loads on the river to a new career as a B&B. It’s cozy, comfortable and yet authentic, with an awesome view of St. Paul on the opposite shore.  It took just a few minutes of sitting on the upper deck and watching the river to feel its magic smooth the edges and set everything right again. This river moves something deep within me; its silent, mysterious power entrances me. It is a gift to us all and one of our greatest treasures. If we have ears to listen, it is one of our greatest teachers as well.  

Peace,     Gayle

About Gayle Harper

Travel Photographer and Writer
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5 Responses to Organic Foods and Plenty of Cold Beer

  1. Kate Johnson says:

    I’m so happy to have met you at the farmer’s market in Minneapolis and what fun it is to see the picture of my daughter, Hazel, made it to your blog.

    I moved to Minnesota 10 years ago from Appalachia and it was quite a change. I love it here and your description of the city is wonderful. Always interesteding to hear how others discover this beautiful (and yes, brutal is a word I would use in winter) place.

    Good luck on your journey!
    Kate and Hazel

    • Gayle Harper says:

      Hello Kate and Hazel!! It’s so much fun to hear again from people I met back upriver! I’m about to leave Minnesota behind on this journey, and I have truly loved it – and all the wonderful people I’ve met are such a big part of that! Hazel is precious – please say hi for me! Gayle

      • Kate Johnson says:

        Also wanted to echo your comment about the sweet potato taco… I’m still telling folks about how good that was.

  2. Neto says:

    One thing I like about the Covington Inn is that it is central to anything you would want to do in Saint Paul. Downtown shopping, events at the Xcel Center, West 7TH St. restaurants,mmm Casetas. I think that 4th of July activities are held behind it, I could be wrong. Oh and is there a good organic resaurant in downtown St. Paul?

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