I reached Lake Itasca State Park on Friday, June 27th. It was a challenging ride to follow the Mississippi River north through Minnesota from Minneapolis.
Bringing along 21 copies of The Fox Trails, I rode the same bike that took me from the Twin Cities to New Orleans last fall. As you can see from the picture below, I had quite the load to carry. I’d estimate that I have 150 lbs stuffed in that kid carrier. I may need to invest in a motor.
Minnesota is gorgeous in the summer. So green and lush, beautiful skies and friendly people. The large amount of rain that we’ve already received has the river’s water high with a raging current. I took a few pictures along the way.
Before reaching Lake Itasca, the river passes through Lake Bemijdi. I spent a couple of days in Bemidji and stayed in the State Park on the north side of the lake before making my way to Itasca. The river gets smaller and smaller as you approach the source.
30 rocks span the width of the Mississippi at its source and it was a special moment to walk across these stones. I’ve now seen the river in its entirety and that’s something that few can claim.
A great storm came on the night that I camped in the State Park and water damaged the majority of the books I had left to sell. Oh well, I ended up giving them away to the campers around me. That felt right and I met some wonderful people along the way. However, after a week of facing storms and winds in excess of 20 mpr, I’ve decided to postpone the summer tour through the west. This wasn’t an easy choice and it took some serious meditation but this may be one of the most responsible decisions I’ve made in a long time. The west can wait.
I stopped in Brainerd today and I’ll be riding through Minnesota en route to spend the Fourth of July with my family. The path ahead will take me through a number of places that hold a personal significance to my past and I look forward to being home and and reflecting before the next endeavor. This has been a perfect closure for the Great River Adventure and I now have what I need to write The Fox Trails sequel. That starts now.