July 8, 2013 Walking Across the Mississippi River

We woke to another gorgeous day Smile, packed up and headed east on US-2 then south on SR-92.  We went thru thick forests:

07-08-13 B SR92 South of Bagley (2)

To Itasca State Park.  Here is our site:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (6)

The view from our front window:

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A tour boat on Lake Itasca - we may check this out:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (5)

Once we set up and had lunch we headed to the visitor center.  We watched a nice little movie on the park and the lakes and went thru a number of the exhibits.  I found this interesting:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (9)a

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (10)

There was a lot of information on the CCC’s influence in the park and a lot of history of the CCC.

We picked up a few maps and headed out to the Mississippi Headwater where they had a few exhibits, a store and a café.

Some background on the source of the Mississippi River:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (13)a

We walked down a nice little path to....:

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And of course, we walked across the Mighty Mississippi River - Smile!

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Itasca Lake:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (25)

The start of the Mississippi River:

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (28)

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(Now we will have to try swimming across the end of the Mississippi - Smile NOT!)

In Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief it is the women who are Caretakers of the Water.  “We are to respect this responsibility of the sacred work of women by keeping this precious resource pristine and renewable for all future generations to enjoy.”

This sculpture by Jeff Savage is a symbol of the “Caretaker of the Water”.

07-08-13 C Itasca SP (46)

The picture does not show it but the details on the turtles were amazing.

We spent some time at the outdoor exhibits - much information on the Mississippi River.  There was a very large relief map of the entire Mississippi Watershed.  (Very hard to take a picture - sorry!)

Some tidbits:

The average surface speed of the river is 1.2 miles per hour, about one third as fast as people walk.  At that rate, a raindrop falling in Lake Itasca would take about 90 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico.

In the 1930’s, the Mississippi River measured 2552 miles from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico.  Today, that length is 2350 miles.  In the 1940’s, straightening of the river’s channel cut off over 160 miles of bends.

We stopped at the little café for an ice cream treat - YUM!.  Then continued our day by taking the Wilderness Road. 

The trees, oh my:

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This is a stand of red  pines.

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This is the Big White Pine.  It was once part of of the large pine forests that stretched from Maine to Minnesota and south to Georgia and Alabama.  By the late early 1900’s many of pines had been cut down for lumber.  This pine is 112 feet high, 173 inches in circumference and over 300 years old.

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Check out how the trunk:

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These trees are huge and very tall.  I just missed a vehicle going down the road that would have shown the perspective.  WOW!

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In the low lying areas there were many small ponds and swampy areas:

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What a nice drive!

Back home we had a nice campfire and a great supper over the fire.

This was only a one night stay for us.  We don’t normally like to just fly thru a place but the cost of camping here is a little overpriced (in my opinion). So we are off to the the Great Lakes region. 

Stay tuned for our next adventure and enjoy today.

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 91 Miles

Route Traveled:

Minnesota: US-2; SR-92; SR-200; CR-38 (Main Park Road)

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