Outbound route, 7 JuneReturn route, 7 June
The outbound is basically the same as the 2 May ride, except I took Buckboard Forest Road at the end of Height-of-Land road, and went to Lake Itasca. The return is quite different.
New county visits:
Things I did not know:
-The Mississippi is just a tiny little thing where it leaves Lake Itasca. We're talking 7 feet wide and a foot deep tiny.
-Itasca State Park does random open house days when you don't have to have a vehicle permit, I happened to come along on one of those days. Score!
-People actually still do the walking across the rock covered dam at the outlet of Itasca. (Mostly kids.)
-The rock dam is manmade, someone in the 1930's didn't like how this major river got its start in a slough and decided to 'improve' the river's beginning.
-Rivers aren't necessarily defined as running all the way from the highest tributary at the headwaters. The Mississippi starts at the outlet of Itasca even though there are higher waterways flowing into Itasca.
-There is a town in Minnesota named "Zerkel". Zerkel is a fun word.
-Mississippi is a very fun word to type.
-It's easy to get your internal compass turned around with overcast skies on roads that aren't on a grid pattern. On the return trip near Round Lake, I turned north from Becker County #143
on to Becker County #35
thinking I was going to be going west. I realized my mistake when I got to the little settlement about a half mile in and thought 'this sure looks familiar' (since that site had been on my route around Elbow Lake on the way out).
This was my first big ride in a while; from the 5th of May till the 27th I was without a project at work, so my hours were cut back to 30/week, so I was taking long weekends and helping on the farm.