Christmas Hike

It doesn’t feel like Christmas in Minneapolis. Temperatures are in the 30s and the ground is a March shade of brown. Some boulevards are even muddy. Mud. In December. This time last year, Audra and I already had our season passes to Theo Wirth Park and had been cross-country skiing a handful of times. There is truth to Minneapolis having some of the most unpredictable weather in the country.

Back in November, we were planning on skiing on Christmas. No snow meant we needed a plan B. Hiking. Our plans were in Apple Valley, and since Minnehaha Falls is on the way, we identified our setting.

It really was a perfect day to hike by the falls. The parking lot was empty when we arrived. When you need to spend time outdoors like we needed to, the last thing we wanted was to navigate a sea people to get to the trails below the falls. And just as we needed, the trails were empty. A couple walking a dog across the creek and another couple sharing a flask by the river were the only folks we saw. A thick layer of clouds blocked the sun, wind was absent and it almost felt humid. This hike was exactly what we needed.

And yes, only a Minnesotan could find humidity in 35 degrees.

As I’m writing this, a fresh five inches of snow is covering the same trail we hiked on Christmas. Looks like we’ll soon be skiing after all.

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