travel tales for family and friends. . .

wild horses. . .Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota

Monday, August 11, 2014

Itasca State Park and the Headwaters of the Mississippi. . .you gotta see it!

 

Itasca State Park Sign

we waited out the weekend. . .thinking Monday would be a much smarter day to

view the Headwaters of the Mississippi. . .hmmm. . .

Lake Itasca Boat Tour

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!

Loons

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!

Preacher's Grove - Old Growth Pine TreesPreacher's Grove - Old Growth Pine Trees

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. . .

Wild Rice growing along the edge of the Lake

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. . .

More images of Wild Rice and Wild Rice Harvesting

Wild Rice from Lake Itasca

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.

Bog Area along Lake Itasca - Tamarack trees (shorter trees) are approximately 80 years old. . .

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)

Loved this Wooden KayakKayakers on Lake Itasca

lots of kayakers on the lake. . .loved this wooden one.

bet that suckers heavy though. . .

Kayakers on Lake Itasca

the kayakers needed to paddle through the wild rice. . .

Kayakers on Lake ItascaView of the Headwaters of the Mississippi from Lake Itasca

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!

View of the Headwaters of the Mississippi from Lake Itasca

here was our view of the headwaters from the lake side. . .

View of the Headwaters of the Mississippi from Lake Itasca

the kayakers could paddle in this far, and then needed to portage. . .

Headwaters - Where the Mississippi Begins

this was our view of the Headwaters once we finished our boat tour,

DROVE around to the Visitor Center. . .

Minnesota, Itasca State Park (54)

and hiked an awful long way. . .just kiddin’

Wading across the Mississippi

watched these kiddos “wading across the Mississippi.”

Won’t that be a fun story to tell when school starts. . .loved it!

Headwaters - Where the Mississippi Begins

Headwaters - Where the Mississippi Begins

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

In the Direction of Our Dreams

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. . .

‘til then,

Janice and Dave

OH. . .P.S. . .

Paul Bunyun and Babe the Blue Ox

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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