Ridge Run

I’ve lived here on the edge of the Ramsey County wetlands for the last seventeen years. Most of that land is swampy and not conducive to play. Out in the middle of the wetland is a ridge with tall pines that I’ve always longed to explore. I once snowshoed most of the way out to the ridge during winter, but the swamp was thawing and I kept breaking through slushy ice. My snowshoes kept getting tangled in the long marsh grasses. I didn’t make it all of the way to the ridge. It is invariably too wet and buggy in the summer to attempt it. So I’ve just viewed it from afar for all of these years.

img_20200417_192821-1I’ve lived here on the edge of the Ramsey County wetlands for the last seventeen years. Most of that land is swampy and not conducive to play. Out in the middle of the wetland is a ridge in the middle of the Turtle Creek Open Space with tall pines that I’ve always longed to explore. I once snowshoed most of the way out to the ridge during winter, but the swamp was thawing and I kept breaking through slushy ice. My snowshoes kept getting tangled in the long marsh grasses. I didn’t make it all of the way to the ridge. It is invariably too wet and buggy in the summer to attempt it. So I’ve stuck mostly to the paved bike paths and just viewed the ridge from afar for all of these years.

In these pandemic times, I’m exploring more of the neighborhood on my runs.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 10.56.30 PM

While running down a dead-end street tonight, I found a trail-head that led off towards the back side of the ridge. There was only one section of mud to transverse, but I was able to make it to my goal. I found my way onto the ridge.

The woods and prairie above the wetland elevation were not really runnable for long stretches. I had to bushwhack through invasive buck-thorn and prickly brush in much of the woods. I’m glad I wore running pants and a jacket or I would have left some blood behind on the thorns. The adjacent grassland was all moguls of dead grasses with lots of ankle twisting dips. I only fell once when a thorny vine (the bastard!) reached up and grabbed my ankle. I sprung a young buck and watched his bright white hindquarters bounce away from me. I also found old abandoned farm equipment and the rusted chassis of an old car.

With the fading day I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I would have liked, but I now know the secret passage to the ridge. I’ll be back.

About bwcaguy

I'm an avid runner who probably runs too much. My wife of over two decades is quite tolerant of my obsessions and has put up with me thus far. My grown daughters gave up trying to understand me long ago.
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