POTTSLUCK: NORTHERN EXPOSURE travel blog

Paul Bunyon and Babe, Bemidje, MN

Mississippi Headwaters, Itasca State Park


Blew through Wisconsin yesterday without even stopping for cheese - what was that about??? Drove to Bemidje, Minnesota, home of Paul Bunyon and Babe, the Blue Ox. Traveling through this part of Wisconsin and Minnesota - Bob's quote for the day is that this is the place where "Men are men and sheep are scared." Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the womenfolk here sort of resemble Paul Bunyon's companion. Large, and really big boned with plenty of flesh for heat in the winter and shade in the summer. These folk come from strong scandinavian stock!!! (I say this as I am sitting eating fat free yogurt of course - the alternative is way too scary)

What to say about Bemidje except...it is really lovely here. We arrived yesterday and went to the visitors center where we saw the statue of Paul Bunyon. (See attached) Then we walked along the Lake Bemidje path for about 45 minutes with Bob whining the entire time about "is it over yet" - where are my walking buddies when I need them? Dixie liked it though.

Our coffeepot broke so we went looking for a percolator. Girls....they have it all here - Target, Walmart and a Bon-Ton lookalike named Herberger's. Very difficult finding a percolator these days but that is the only thing that will fit in the cabinet and not take up space on the countertop. Did find one at Walmart finally.

Today, we went fishing for Walleye - jigging with minnows from a dock on Lake Bemidje - which is about 12 miles in circumference. Saw goslings (lots) all bunched together.

The only thing we caught was a clam/mussel attached to seaweed. No one else was catching anything either.

Then drove to Itasca State Park about thirty miles away; an incredibly beautiful state park. It is on Lake Itasca which is where the Mississippi River begins so of course, we had to walk to the headwaters and walk across the Mississippi River where it begins. It was 84 degress, Sunny and a beautiful day. The "river" was about 25 feet across - really just a spillway out of the lake. But while we were standing there, a bald eagle flew across the lake. Very spiritual somehow.

Then took a nature trail/walk and came across a snapping turtle that had to be two feet across. He raised his back legs and was very aggressive. Dixie was so startled that she gave the turtle a very wide berth - circling the turtle and bypassing him/her entirely.

Also saw a black and white warbler and what I believe was a lesser scaup (duck). Later, a flock of cedar waxwings landed about 10 feet from our campsite,which was the best one so far. It was wide, level and in a small park called Royal Oak Campground. Camped next to two couples with six dogs between them (4 goldens and two border collies) who were travelling together to Alaska. And I thought I had a lot of dog hair in the coach.

Bob is driving as I write. Obviously, he has his own take on things - not much into the birds and wildlife stuff although he is enjoying the beauty all around us.

Lots of indian reservations here. That was surprising to me.

Onward.....



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