Monday, July 29

You’re going to think I’m obsessed with rangers.  I’m really not.  At least I don’t think I am.  It’s just that our National Parks and Rec. provide for some unique nature experiences right here in the middle of the metro.  Today the US Fish and Wildlife Service offers the opportunity to bike with a ranger from Shakopee to Bloomington on the State Corridor Trail.  Meet at the Wilkie Unit parking area (7701 County Rd. 101 E., Shakopee 55379) at 9 am.  This is a four-mile ride scheduled for two hours, so I’m expecting plenty of interpretation along the way.  Your pets are welcome, too, as long as they are on a leash and leave no scat behind.


View from the Endless Bridge

View from the Endless Bridge


Tuesday, July 30

Apparently Sir W. Tyrone Guthrie was a very tall man.  It bugged him that people felt free to remark on his height when meeting him.  My wife’s experience was similar when she was pregnant.  Perfect strangers would rub her belly during this time.  Most didn’t even ask; they just walked up and rubbed away.  Maybe that’s part of the reason the Guthrie Theater’s architect, Jean Nouvel, designed the building to fit in with its Mill District neighbors.  Not too tall, and not too short.  On the other hand, the protruding “Endless Bridge” does draw a bit of attention to itself.  The Guthrie is open every day at 8 am, and you are encouraged to hang out in its public spaces.  The Dowling Studio, with its yellow windows, glass floor, and stunning views, is a can’t-miss.  You can download a free, self-guided audio tour before your visit.  When you’ve had enough of the theater, Gold Medal Park is right outside the doors.  You can also pay your respects to the 13 victims of the 35W bridge collapse at the memorial across the street.

Wednesday, July 31

My house was built in 1923, before television was commonplace.  There’s still a jack in my living room marked “aerial” that I imagine was for the household radio, the type that families used to gather around for weekly broadcasts of their favorite shows.  It’s possible that Orson Welles’ adaptation of “War of the Worlds” echoed through my house on October 30, 1938 causing the original owners to pack their bags, preparing to flee the invading Martians.  You can step into this “Golden Age” of radio at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting.  Here kids can create their own radio show in a 1960’s studio and experience a vintage game show set.  They’ll be able to trace the development of our current broadcast technology from its beginnings.  Who knows?  Maybe a visit here will inspire them to create the next big thing in broadcasting, making our HD TV’s obsolete.  If not, it’s still a charming place to spend a few hours together.

Thursday, August 1

For a time my wife and I ordered our groceries online and had them delivered to our door. We loved it because it “saved us so much time,” which is kind of funny because this was BC (Before Children), and I honestly don’t remember what we did with all of our time back then. The other end of the grocery spectrum is the farmer’s market, I suppose, with Aldi, Rainbow, and Lund’s falling somewhere in between. Spend some time on the edge today at the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market. Start in the children’s section of the Minneapolis Central Library, then head southwest down Nicollet Mall taking a moment to enjoy the atmosphere at Peavey Plaza when you’re done. On your way, buy something you’ve never tasted before and then try a recipe from with your new ingredient. We still talk about our bitter melon dish from a couple of years ago. It wasn’t so good, but it sure was memorable.

Enter Quaking Bog if you dare!

Enter Quaking Bog if you dare!

Friday, August 2

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to cross a five acre acid bog on a floating platform. On your journey you’ll likely encounter flying creatures possessing two sets of wings and able to fly 35 mph! Other inhabitants drink . . . through their skin! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  A visit to Quaking Bog provides all of these adventures and more. You’ll likely cross paths with the dragonflies and frogs that dig the bog, and it’s secluded enough that you can bring a play sword with you and get away with it.

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