Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Day Trip to Itasca State Park–Mississippi Headwaters

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Dave had a bike ride this morning, and then we hopped in Wee Beastie for a run of about 35 miles south on Hwy 71 to Itasca State Park.   As you can see from the photo above, this is the origin of the Mississippi River! 

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There is a small beach there, and we both put hand in the water.  Cold water, that is.

We could not have asked for nicer weather today!  I think we peaked at 85 F, which was warm but comfortable.  I took along my “real” camera, but didn’t use the telephoto lens.  At least the camera got out of its bag for an outing!

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Here is where the water spills out of the lake and begins its journey as the Mighty Mississippi

Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park, having been established in 1891.  It’s pretty large at more than 32,000 acres and more than 100 lakes.  You can read more about the park’s history here. 

We parked at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center, strolled down to the headwaters and then walked the Schoolcraft Trail.

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There’s a cafĂ© and gift shop at the Center, but it’s still too early in the season for them to be open.

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The 2 “dots” in the center of this photo, those are birds on the lake.

After completing the trail, we drove the Wilderness Drive, which is a 10-mile, one-way loop.  It begins at the Headwaters Center and brings you back to the main park office.

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To the left of center is a good-sized beaver dam!  Biggest one we’ve seen in the wild.

We also saw a porcupine, but by the time we got close enough to get a really good look, he/she was meandering back into the forest.  Oh well, at least we can say we’ve seen one in its natural environment!

Another reason for moving this far north is the fact that we are so close to several state parks.  We hope to get out and make use of that proximity throughout the months of good weather.

Back home a few hours later, relaxed, and fed with leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.  Getting out for a wee day trip – out in Mother Nature – makes me feel like I’ve had a real weekend.

We have a short work week of 4 days starting tomorrow, and then we’ll be taking a wee staycation of 4 days.  I already have another couple of day trips in mind.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Stay safe out there, okay?  Thanks for stopping by!


















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