Riley Creek incises a remarkably deep canyon in the bluffs above the Minnesota River as it flows from Lake Riley down to Grass Lake. Much of its length is within a conservation area managed by the City of Eden Prairie. This area lies just to the east of the Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area and it was looking at a map of that area which drew our attention to Riley Creek. There’s more winter weather on its way. But it was sunny this morning, so we decided that now was a good time to explore the short trail system along Riley Creek.
We started from the small parking lot off Laforet Drive, went around the loop near the lot, then out and back along the creek. It was a sunny and cold (8℉/-13.3℃) morning but the air was calm. There was no running water in the creek, just snow. It’s that time of year when you need to appreciate light and shadow and shapes, rather than be beguiled by wildflowers and leaves and mushrooms.
Our loop + out-and-back came to 3.2 miles (5.1 km) with 160 feet (49 m). It was a good way to spend the morning. We needed this moment in Nature, because tomorrow we head west to attend a living wake for an old friend (and best man at our wedding) who won’t be with us much longer. 😢 None of us are going to be around forever, but it’s still a real gut punch when your contemporaries start reaching the end. But at least we’ll get to say good-bye in person…
With the Arctic front moving in, I’d suggest flannel sheets on your bed. And for outdoors, long johns, mittens (not gloves), warm coat, boots and warm headwear. Or just stay indoors!
Thanks! Looking forward 🙄 to next week when the famous Minnesota arctic winter starts. 🥶
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I love the snow faces. I appreciate that you notice the details as well as the overall view. Welcome to your first winter in Minnesota.
Those trees were a first for us too. At 8°F they’ll last a while too. Shadows are the fallback for no wildflowers or leaves.
Thanks! We’re blessed to be able to have this last visit.
The Loved One has those rosy cheeks of winter.
I have never seen trees decorated like that. Nicely transient “vandalism”.
Shadow III very nice.
Sending sympathy…he is blessed to have you as a lifelong friend. Great photos, as always. Safe travels….