Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Where the Mississippi River begins

Location: Itasca State Park; Park Rapids, Minnesota
(click pictures to enlarge)

I arrived at Itasca State Park after a long (230 mile) trip. It was a pretty day for the trip with blue skies and 70 degree temperatures.
Good travel weather and road
Once you enter the park limits you still have several miles of narrow two lane roads to get to the campground. I was surprised that with over 200 campsites there is only one dump station with two potable water sources. I was lucky and didn't have a waiting line to get fresh water. I hope I'm that lucky when I need to empty tanks tomorrow.

Campsite 142
When I finally got to the campground it was nearly deserted. There is only about a dozen or so campers in my area. The campsite is a nice one that is easy to back into with some shade trees on the side and in the back. I put one set of blocks under the left side of Liberty to get level. I was probably close enough to level to call it good, but I was in an easy position to use the blocks. Surprisingly, there is free Wi-Fi at this campground and I'm close to the transmitter.

The main reason I came to this park is to see the beginning point of the Mississippi River. The beginning of this big river is a small stream that leaves Lake Itasca. About 2,500 miles later that stream empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it collects water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces and passes under about 170 bridges. The first bridge is a log that has been cut in half and spans the stream about 50 feet after it leaves the lake. The water I saw yesterday leaving the lake will not reach the Gulf of Mexico for another 90 day; first week of December.
To the headwaters

A bench to rest and read

The very beginning of the
Mississippi River as it leave
Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca is in the background

The first bridge to span the
Mississippi River

This is the Mississippi River about
200 feet after it leaves the lake.
It will take about 90 days for this
water to make its way to the
Gulf of Mexico

Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca

I also rented a bicycle and rode around on some of the bike trails in the park. I asked for a bike with an old fashioned tractor seat but they didn't have one. I wasn't sure the woman knew I was joking. She picked out a bike she said was a Hybrid with a wide seat and 3 gears on the left handbar and 7 on the right. Yesterday was the second bike I've ridden with gears. Towards the end of the ride I finally found the old fat man gear which was 2 on the left and 3 on the right. I only rode for about 45 minutes but that was long enough to know I will be getting a bicycle when I get back to Louisiana in November.
Rental Bike

There is a cold front that is pushing through this area today. The temperature is suppose to drop and rain is on the way. The low tonight is predicted to be 42 degrees with a high tomorrow of 53 degrees.  Tomorrow is moving day and I will be heading south about 125 miles. There won't be much of a change in the weather so I'll be getting my long pants out of storage. The low for Wednesday night is to be 38 degrees. The leaves are starting to change with this cooler weather. In another few weeks the trees should be very pretty up here, but I'll be long gone by then. I'm as far north as I'm going this year and tomorrow will begin a 6 week trip back south to Louisiana. I'm not exactly sure which route I'll be taking but I do have reservations at two more Minnesota state parks that have things I want to see before leaving the state.

It was a good day in a nice campground
with perfect weather.
 Ya'll take care of each other. Cya down the road.


  1. Beautiful pics! When u mentioned the leaves changing color and getting pretty it brought back memories. I'm sure we couldn't count the amount of rides we took with Mom and Dad to look at leaves changing colors. LOL So boring for kids but they loved it. I would give anything to take a ride with them anywhere now.
    Take care and enjoy they weather...still hot as heck here. Good idea about the bike

    1. yeah, I agree about a ride with them again. I would guess those rides were a way for them to get all of us together for a day. A picnic lunch somewhere along the road and 5 or 6 hours together. I think Mom, was sneaky that way.....:)