May 23rd --The twin cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis--

St. Paul was just one hour drive away. I left the motel at 8:30 and crossed the state line of Minnesota. The sign looked pretty good. When I entered St. Paul, I drove to a waterfront. But I didn't see a park nor a parking. All I saw was a small dirty river with some trees on the bank. Yes, this is the Mississippi River, which I saw three weeks ago at St. Louis. When I think of this length, the area it covers, I can't help saying "great." Yet, one regrettable thing is the pollution. At St. Louis, I had expected clearer water upstream. But it was still brown even at St. Paul.

I went to the Cathedral of Saint Paul, one of the largest one in the US. It stood on a beautiful hill overlooking the downtown. It was pretty big and fine. I entered inside and felt a cool air, which is unique to churches. Sunlight was coming through stained glasses, giving dim lights in a large hall. Although I am not a Christian, I felt somewhat relaxed sitting on a bench. After a good meditation, I went back to the daylight. About a half mile away could I see the state capitol. I went in front of it and took a picture.

I took University Avenue to get to Minneapolis. On the way I found a Vietnamese restaurant. I stopped in and enjoyed a rice noodle and spring rolls. Then I went to St. Anthony Falls. This is the only major falls along the Mississippi, although the height is pretty low. This falls used to be in St. Paul a long time ago, but the falls moved up, eroding the bed, reaching the place where it is now. People used this falls for milling, then generating electricity. So they made an artificial falls in order to pin the falls. Now they have closed down the power plant. There is a water gate for ship transportation. When I went into an observation room, one guy came up to me. He talked to me and asked me if I had a question. He was a man working for this gate. I asked some questions. Then he kindly took me to the gate, which is not open to public. Thanks to his kindness, I could see the whole structure of this gate and beautiful view of the falls. I asked him to take a picture of me on the gate.

Minneapolis is famous for Prince, a great misician. I wanted to see some places related to Prince. I used a Japanese guide book to find it. First I went to a live house called "First Avenue & 7th St. Entry" which was used in the film "Purple rain." Of course it was closed because it was a daytime. Then I decided to go to a shop of Prince. But as I didn't have a city map, I got lost and took about 2 hours to get to the place. Moreover, the shop had already closed down in 1995. At last I went back to the highway I-35W.

The I-35W merged the I-35E to become the I-35. I headed south to approach Flagler, CO. Yes, I was going to pick up my Jeep. I supposed to take the I-80 west but when I came to the intersection of the I-90, I changed my mind. I really wanted to drive a huge land of South Dakota. The I-90 runs north to the I-80. You might know it, but the interstate highway system uses two or one digit even number to the east-west route, two or one digit odd number to the north-south route. The I-4 is the south most, the I-94 is the north most. Also the I-5 is the west most and the I-95 is the east most. The I-90 went in a huge land. I enjoyed a beautiful horizon. One bad thing was bugs. They attacked to the windshield like a rainfall, I couldn't remove it out with the washer and wiper. I even got a bird attack once. I crossed the state line of South Dakota and checked in a motel in Mitchell about 100 miles west to the line.

The state line of South Dakota

The state line of Minnesota

The Cathedral of St. Paul

St. Anthony Falls

On the water gate

Beautiful horizon in the evening

The sticky bugs on the windshield

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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto