Twin Cities Couch Fest

Picture of couchsurfers.

Group shot at the sculpture gardens.

Last weekend was time for another Twin Cities Couch Fest, an annual gathering of friends old and new in the fabulous Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

On Friday, we headed up to Interstate State Park, which spans the St. Croix River between Wisconsin and Minnesota. We got to check out some of the hundreds of potholes in the park, which formed about 10,000 years ago during the last glacial period. The area was created by lava flows millions of years ago, leaving behind hardened basalt rocks mixed with some granite. Taylor's Falls was just upstream of the park's entrance, which made me wish I had brought my kayak. There were also boulders all around the park, which made me wish I had brought my rock shoes. Oh well, you can't do everything.

We dined on grass-fed buffalo burgers and gouda cheese at Eichten's Cafe, then spent the rest of our afternoon exploring the Franconia sculpture park. There were exhibits ranging from 80's pop to playgrounds, and I even finally got to live my lifelong dream of shooting Bambi. It was interesting seeing the artists at work on their next pieces; this place reminded me of a more diversified version of Dr. Evermor's Forevertron.

There were a bunch of options for Saturday afternoon, and Katie and I decided to ride our bikes from the Stone Arch Bridge to Minnehaha Falls in central Minneapolis. I was unaware that Minneapolis had so many bike trails, so this was a great option. I still wish the city had more bike lanes, though. They would make riding on the streets less scary, which would encourage more people to bike instead of driving, which would help to alleviate traffic issues, a win-win for all.

Picture of alien craft.

One of the stranger exhibits at the sculpture gardens.

Saturday night we went to Northern Spark, a free live art show in downtown St. Paul that went from dusk till dawn. This was my favorite event of the weekend because it had exhibits everywhere you looked and several live music acts. I didn't take my camera with me (too busy discoing it up), so check out the website link for photos. At 2:00 a.m., the main event happened when they burned down a replica of a historical house. Bloodlust was in the crowd as they chanted “Burn it down!” until it finally went up in a ball of flames. About 500 people recorded the event on their cellphones, which they held above their heads.

This was a really fun weekend where I got to meet old friends and make some new ones. I was especially glad they had more events this year in St. Paul – the evil twin normally doesn't get much love. Lots of other big cities have annual couch crashes now, which are organized through Couch Surfing, though the events are put together by the local couch surfers.

By the way, Madison's Couch Crash is coming up August 1-4. We're planning lots of fun stuff around town, so this will be a another great way for you to get to know the city and make friends. Here's our official website (it still has to be updated with this year's schedule).

More photos from the Twin Cities Couch Fest

External Websites:
Twin Cities Couch Fest
Interstate State Park
Franconia Sculpture Garden
Northern Spark
Couch Surfing

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