Minnesota is known for a lot of things (like lots of lakes, and mammoth mosquitoes) but major waterfalls isn't one of them. However! With record rainfall this June, our hallowed falls right in Minneapolis has become THE place to visit.
|Photos by Chris Adler-http://blog.lib.umn.edu/adle0019/chrisadler/|
Water that runs over the falls starts 22 miles west at Lake Minnetonka. Minnehaha Creek runs through various suburbs, then through South Minneapolis before leaping over the falls and traveling another mile to join the Mississippi River.
The name is often translated to Laughing Waters; however, the actual translation is far less fun - basically "waterfall falls." Hmm. I think I'll stick to the Laughing Waters idea (which came from Mary Eastman's book Dahcotah that was published in 1849). The Dakota called Minnehaha Creek "Wakpa Cistinna," which means "Little River."
There have been years when water barely trickled over the falls, hardly enough to wet the basin. It was sad to see, actually. Without the usual sound of rushing water, the wooded area was eerily quiet. Then there are years like this year. The sound is deafening, the spray more like a shower than a mist. People like to wade in the water as it heads toward the Mississippi; however, this year a child was actually swept away by the current. A passerby saw what was happening, ran ahead of the child, then jumped in and pulled him to safety.
With over 26 inches of rain this month, Minnehaha Falls has become even more of an attraction for hikers, photographers, families, picnickers, and the just plain curious. Check out this video to see the falls in action.
|Minnehaha Park Pavillion|
enough water to go over the falls!
This fun video by Francis Sothy, shot from a quad-copter in mid-June, gives a neat view of the whole area. And then there are the thrill seekers who decide to kayak over the falls. Not something the average kayaker should try.
It may not have the grandeur of Niagara, but we love our Minnehaha Falls.