we waited out the weekend. . .thinking Monday would be a much smarter day to
view the Headwaters of the Mississippi. . .hmmm. . .
and although we did not enjoy the boat tour at the Soo Locks. . .
we do love being out on the water,
and decided the Boat Tour of Lake Itasca would be just the thing. . .
I must say. . .very well done!
first thing we see. . .the Common Loon. . .Minnesota’s State Bird,
and the one thing I really, really wanted to see while we were here. . .check!
now tour guides sometimes amuse me. . .
and this was one of those times.
As we pass the Old Growth Forest portion of the park
called Preacher’s Grove. . .the guide told us that is was called that
because a group of Preachers gathered for a
. . .Religious Conference. . .
I almost laughed out loud. . .and told Dave. . .
I’m pretty sure back in those days they called it a
. . .Revival Meetin’. . .or a good ole’ Brush Arbor Meetin’
nuttin’ fancy like a religious conference. . .
ah well. . .tickled my funny bone. . .
I was completely intrigued by the wild rice growing all along the shore of Lake Itasca. . .
evidently, it is very common and grows all over the Great Lakes Area. . .
and was a huge trading commodity for Indian Tribes in the area. . .
causing many battles over wild rice. territory. . .
Foraging for wild food intrigues me. . .not enough to do it of course,
(well, other than blackberries). . .but it does intrigue me. . .
I bought this bag of rice in the gift shop,
although I quickly discovered I could have gotten it much, much cheaper at the Farmer’s Market.
Oh well. . .it contributes to the State Park coffers. . .so all is well,
and I am sure we will enjoy a couple of wild rice pilafs in the near future.
we also loved seeing “The Bog”. . .
the little short trees that look like Christmas Trees
are actually Tamarack Trees which are approximately 80 years old. . .
their growth is stunted due to their proximity to the bog. . .interesting!
(I’d love to load the link to a fact sheet about it. . .
but slow internet. . .not happening. . .maybe later)
lots of kayakers on the lake. . .loved this wooden one.
bet that suckers heavy though. . .
the kayakers needed to paddle through the wild rice. . .
I think the little dog on the front must have seen something interesting,
because he dove in. . .and needed to be fetched out. . .
it all happened really quick. . .too funny!
here was our view of the headwaters from the lake side. . .
the kayakers could paddle in this far, and then needed to portage. . .
this was our view of the Headwaters once we finished our boat tour,
DROVE around to the Visitor Center. . .
and hiked an awful long way. . .just kiddin’
watched these kiddos “wading across the Mississippi.”
Won’t that be a fun story to tell when school starts. . .loved it!
I got the biggest kick out of watching all these folks
crossing the Mississippi on these rocks. . .
I’m too clumsy to attempt it myself. . .
and after Dave’s fall on the rocks at Schoodic Peninsula. . .
well. . .yeah. . .ain’t happening. . .
but doesn’t this look fun?
Just past the kids swimming, you can see the path
the kayakers were taking through the wild rice
to reach this point from the lake. . .
What a fun day we had at Itasca State Park. . .
but if you really want to know all about the park
and all the things to do there. . .
plus they got some really great shots of the
Headwaters without all the folks. . .
I really, really must direct you to
Sherry and David’s Blog
they actually stayed at one of the campgrounds in the park,
and checked out the park from every angle. . .enjoy!
See you next time at Tamarac NWR. . .
Janice and Dave
OH. . .P.S. . .
I almost forgot to tell you. . .
after Itasca SP, we drove the Great River Road
over to Bemidji to see Paul Bunyan and Babe. . .
I mean really. . .can you even come to Minnesota,
and not go to see Paul Bunyan. . .come on!