It only took us two years of living in Minnesota, but we finally made it to the headwaters of the Mississippi.
This is Itasca State Park, a lovely place about two hours from us and yet it took us two years to get here?! (I know. We’re awful.)
In answer to your question, no, I didn’t wade across the Mississippi. Didn’t even think of it, to tell the truth. We took a short footbridge across though, that was fun. We stopped midway so Husband could film a short intro for next Sunday’s online worship service.
It was funny seeing how fast people scurried away when they heard him saying vaguely religious words, leaving us alone on the bridge. (You might use that trick yourself, should you find the need to get away from crowds.)
There weren’t that many people around, but we were surprised by how many there were given it was a Monday and there’s that pandemic thing going on? But everyone was good about keeping their distance even before Husband did his preacher-bit.
Speaking of which, how great is this?
Forgot to mention, we were on our bikes. Neighbor Buddy and his wife, Wanda, told us the bike path around Itasca Lake was perfect. “Only 17 miles all the way around,” they said.
We didn’t feel quite up to that, so we took the 5-mile path to the headwaters.
Truthfully, even that was 4.5 miles more than I usually ride, plus there was the trip back to the car. And though Buddy and Wanda assured us the path was flat… well, their definition of flat must be different than ours.
Fortunately we saw several people pushing their bike on the way back, so I didn’t feel too bad joining them. Also, true to his Enneagram-9, Winnie-the-Pooh self, Husband offered to switch bikes on the way back, “so you’ll get a feel for how a good bike rides.”
Yeah. He’s been trying to talk me into getting a new bike. I don’t know why, being how mine is only 50-years old and has three speeds. (Two of which work most of the time, low and less low.)
Okay, so his bike made the trek much easier. I still love my bicycle, but maybe saving up for a newer one makes sense for when our trips are longer than a half mile.
From there we went to Bemidji and saw Paul and Babe.
Side note: Paul’s face had the most impressive spider web on it…
I figure that must be one determined spider to travel up that high. I don’t what kind she is, but I admire her spunk.
Speaking of spunk, there was a group of women protesting in the park. I asked if I could take their picture and assured them they would be shown in a positive light.
Their group is called “Knitting for Justice.” Every day from 2-4, they gather in front of Paul and Babe and knit. When they heard I have a blog, they gave me a card to further their message. So here’s their message:
We believe BIPOC lives Matter. We believe LGBTQ Lives Matter. We know that systems are broken, our planet is hurting, and this needs to change! We welcome you to join us any day to sit and knit (or bead or color or chat or meditate or whatever grounds you). Welcome.
If you can’t make it to Bemidji and you knit or crochet, they invite you to join them in making 6×6-inch squares in any kind of yarn. Send them to: Kirkpatrick, PO Box 3073, Bemidji, MN, 56619, and the squares will be sown together into blankets for the homeless.
On our way home we stopped in a small town called Park Rapids, which has a lovely downtown area with cute shops. We had dinner at a place called The Good Life. I ordered their smørrebrød.
Smørrebrød is the Danish name for open-faced sandwich. And though I grew up eating open-faced sandwiches and am quite fond of them, it wasn’t until I was much older that I found out they were a thing with Scandinavians? Norwegians eat them, Swedes eat them, Danes make an art-form of them. (As Danes are wont to do.)
It’s just a better way to enjoy your meal, I think. If you’re gonna make a beautiful sandwich, why cover it up with an extra slice of bread? Instead, use a fork and enjoy every bite of it. (Of course, that’s just one Norwegian’s opinion.)
And thus ended our day trip to the Headwaters. We saw a pretty lake, met good people, ate a fine sandwich and had the best night’s sleep I’d had in a long time.
Sometimes a day is all it takes to remind you, life is good.