St. Paul has a grand round too

It is Friday ad Fridays are for fun. Minneapolis is one of the top cities for bicycles.  There are miles and miles of bike lanes, bikeways, and bike paths, and lakes for the bike trails to go around. There are shared bikes in Minneapolis too but that isn’t something we get to have here in St. Paul because. .. never mind.

Minneapolis is flat and St. Paul is a bit hilly. Biking is very popular in St. Paul too and St. Paul cyclists are for the most part stronger than Minneapolis cyclists because of the hills. I am referring to the cyclists who actually leave the house and use bikes that go places and that do not require internet access.

A person in St. Paul can take the bike trails to Minneapolis and people in Minneapolis can take trails to St. Paul but they mostly don’t because. Probably because of the hills.

In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of work on the bike paths in St. Paul and some new off-street paths too. A couple of weeks ago I discovered the Johnson Parkway leg of the St. Paul grand round. It is a newish off-street trail. It enables me to go from downtown to Lake Phalen and home again without backtracking because it connects to the MRT/Samual Morgan and to the Bruce Vento Trail.

There are maps of bike trails on the St. Paul dot gov website and some signs along the trails even have information about regional and state trails.  It can get complicated because regional trails may not show up on city maps. In general, it is getting easier to get around town by bike.

Johnson Parkway-grand round

 

You can buy some kohlrabi

kohlrabi

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun.  Last weekend I bought my first batch of Kohlrabi of the 2021 season at the Saint Paul Farmer’s market. Housing prices are high and the competition among buyers is fierce. In contrast, kohlrabi is easy to buy and is affordable too.

There are a lot of people who don’t understand the vegetable and many who have never tried it.  It can be cooked but I mostly eat it raw. I love kohlrabi and when it is in season I eat it almost every day. By the time kohlrabi season is over this August, I think the housing market will be a little kinder to home buyers.

If you have never tried kohlrabi you are missing out.  By something weekend. The bulb and the greens are edible. I usually saute the greens and they can be added to any dish that could be improved by adding greens.  I dice the bulb and add it to my lunch salad which consists of mostly vegetables and never lettuce.

 

The Farmer’s market is fun

It is Friday ad Fridays are for fun. I am looking forward to the holiday weekend. One of the things I love to do on any weekend is to go to the Farmer’s market, the one in downtown St. Paul.

I have been going there since I was a tot and that was a very long time ago. It is a little different post-pandemic. I used to enjoy breakfast and coffee with friends but the vendors who sell hot food and donuts are not there this year.

Masks are no longer required which makes sense because it is an outdoor market.

There are plenty of plants and locally grown produce and fresh eggs too. I’ll make at least one trip to the Farmer’s market this weekend.

Farmer's market
Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s market

 

The natives that grow in my garden

If it Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have a few native plants in my yard. The native columbine is one of my favorites. It likes to grow on the rocky river bluffs which pretty much describes my yard. The plant likes areas with some sun. I have never planted them but let them grow where they want to grow.  They just started blooming and will continue to do so for another month or so.

 

columbine
columbine

 

Columbine

 

Riding through the woods

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last weekend I got on my bike and took a ride through Lilydale Regional Park. I never get tired of the trails through the woods or the eagles’s nests along pickerel lake. There are also herons, ducks, swans, turtles, and lots of beaver and songbirds.

Right now the woods are full of wild violets. I also found some marsh marigolds blooming and of course the bald eagles hanging out near their nests. They often get their pictures taken. The park is a photographer’s paradise and wonderful for biking, hiking, fishing, and picnics too.

The best times to ride through the woods are on weekdays in the early afternoon or late morning when there is less noise and traffic.

Bald Eagle
Marsh marigold

 

In other news . . .

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Here I have a picture of the iconic Paul Bunyan statue in Bemidji Minnesota. One of Paul’s arms is broken and it is going to be repaired. That means the statute of Paul and Babe is blue ox will remain and in place for tourists to see.

Paul Bungan and babe the blue ox