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Published: July 19th 2018
We were late leaving this morning which semi got us in a little bit of an irritating situation later in the day. However, we needed the down time, and alls’ well that ends well! We pulled out of camp at 10:20. By the way, there was a sign in the campground office that we thought was pretty cute: “Camping: Where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person.”
Our morning was perfect at 73 degrees and a low humidity level. Arriving in the town of Bemidji at 10:45 we went looking for information on the headwaters of the Mississippi. As it turns out from information we got at a Science Center in town and along the way at different venues during the day, the facts are clear in that—the facts are NOT clear! In years past, it was thought that the headwaters of the Mississippi were in Bemidji. Not so grasshopper. There are also those who say that the actual headwaters are a few miles out of town at a wide place in the road. That is not the only theory. The official (because the state of Minnesota so decreed we think) now put the official headwaters
of the Mississippi in what is now Itaska State Park.
Before we got on the road in our quest to actually SEE the headwaters, we walked a block down the street to see the famous statures of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. There they were, right on the shore of Bemidji Lake! It was a childhood dream come true. Of course, we discovered later that there are MANY statues of Paul and Babe throughout the country but I am choosing to believe this is the real one!
Leaving town we began our quest to see the actual headwaters of the Mississippi. WIthout boring you to tears with the tale of us going back and forth across what should have be a 50 mile or so drive and extending it into the 146 miles we drove today. Suffice it to say, looking for the exact geographical center of whatever pales in comparison! We did have fun and finally arrived at Itaska State Park and walked about 800 years to (gasp!!) the headwaters of the Mississippi! It really was a neat place and we are good with ceeding the title to that spot. There were lots of families
and lots of kids there enjoying themselves, as did we. Before leaving the park we stopped at Douglas Lodge to have a late lunch, leaving there at 3:00.
By the way, so much for our theory that “all we need is one spot” when it comes to making campground reservations (we rarely do) as we almost had a mini disaster today since we were running later than we had intended (see above about leaving late!) There is a big festival here in the area besides the fact that this is a big vacation destination, and we were turned down at two campgrounds before we drove back to the Bemidji area and found plenty of space at the Bemidji KOA. We have a good site, good electricity, level, and good WiFi. They also have a laundry room and we were able to get clothes washed which always feels good. We got into camp at 5:00 and, as I said above, drove 146 miles today.
Tomorrow we expect to head in the direction of Minneapolis/St. Paul and are in hopes to take a city tour there. It is forecast to rain tomorrow but that also means that the temperatures will
PS—Can anyone from Minnesota tell us what “off sale” means? We have seen it on liquor stores and grocery stores.
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