The Great River Road 32 Day Adventure   Leave a comment

Day 1-3 Bemidji, MN

The camaraderie actually started before our orientation.

What a great group! We have several brothers with different mothers. (that’s an inside joke)

After “getting oriented,” we rushed off to town to see a local play, “On Golden Pond” presented by the Bemidji Community Theater. WHAT A GREAT JOB THEY DID! Everyone did a magnificent job, but Tom Kusler, who played Norman Thayer Jr., definitely stood out! We think he did better than Henry Fonda in the original movie. How in the world he could deliver his lines without laughing is beyond our imagination as he had us in stitches.

Our first day of touring began on a first-class motorcoach for a scenic “Fall Colors” drive through Itasca State Park, crossing the Mississippi River several times.

Finally arriving at the headwaters of the “Mighty Mississippi.”

At the headwaters in Itasca State Park, it begins as a narrow stream. When it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, it is over 2 miles wide. We were able to walk across the Mississippi River at the headwaters, but that sure won’t happen when we get farther south.

For over 9,000 years, the Mississippi has been considered a “great river” by American Indians. The measure of a river’s greatness is not only its length, but the extent to which it is a part of people’s lives. At 2,552 miles in length, it is the fourth longest river in the world. Numerous small rivers and streams flow into the Mississippi and together all these connected rivers and streams make up the largest river system in North America. It has a combined waterway length of more than 15,000 miles. This huge river system drains water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces.

Did you ever wonder how explorers came up with names for what they found? Sometimes their discovery was given the name they learned from the American Indians, sometimes they applied the name of a person for the purpose of glory and fame, but often they named features after themselves. The Mississippi River has been called various names over the last 300 years. With all of the renaming, it’s amazing that the Mississippi was derived from an older name having its origins within the Algonquian Indian language. It’s been spelled Messippi, Meschasipi, Missisipi, and Misisipi.

We were given a personal tour of the Bemidji Woolen Mills by the owner, Bill. He has been working at the mill since age 12 and is a fourth generation in the business. He has acquired machines that do the work of more than a dozen workers and is able to run his mill with 8 people. They do not run the operation like an assembly line. Each person has their “own” machine, but at times they will grab a specialty machine to complete their product.

A trip to Bemidji isn’t complete until you visit Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox.

Leaving Bemidji, stopping at Brainerd, MN.

What a BEAUTIFUL campground! Too bad we are only staying one night.

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