Looking for a beautiful and secluded picnic site just feet from the gently lapping waters of the Mississippi? Grab a pen. First, locate yourself at the east end of the Franklin Avenue bridge near the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Next, travel south by car or bike exactly one mile along East River Parkway. Just past the city limits, where the street turns into Mississippi River Road, look toward the river for a small sign announcing "Meeker Island Lock and Dam Historic Site." A few yards farther, turn onto Eustis Street and park. Carry your picnic larder back to the historic marker and walk down the long cinder-block path to the bottom of the bluffs at river's edge. At low water, you may see some minimal ruins of the old locks—the first ever built on the upper Mississippi, in 1907, to facilitate boat travel to Minneapolis. More important, a few yards farther on, you'll see two picnic tables with a stunning water-level view of the placid river and the bounteous woods along its banks. Spread a cloth. Kick off your shoes. Breath deeply. Eat heartily. Murmur a blessing for this day and this place.