Monday, September 5, 2016

The MRT started today!  After a huge breakfast at Jean's place, we got on the road (later than planned, of course).  We arrived at Lake Itasca State Park around noon.  We drove the beautiful 11 mile Wilderness Road loop to get the lay of the land and I found myself getting excited for the first time since we started this journey.  After checking maps at the lodge, we located the bike path that led to the headwaters.  I rode the path and Cathy drove there. 

The official start location:

To prove I was there and to note the OFFICIAL START

 It starts to flow from the lake and continues on.  It's pretty easy to play in the river here.

The beginning of the "trail" is on (good) county roads.  The state of Minnesota has put up 640 of these:

Where the owner of the Lake Itasca State Park bike shop lives (really):

 Crossing the (not so) mighty Mississippi

and on it flows

 The brutal south wind was gone today.  Too bad--I went north a lot.  The wind was a mild westerly which did proved a tailwind at times.  The most pleasant thing all day was the aromas.  The lush forest within the park was so nice I rode a few extra miles there before heading for Bemidji.  The sights and smells of the maples,, oaks, sumacs and sundry vegetation was about as calming and enjoyable as any bike ride I have done.

Once I left the park, I was still blessed by little or no traffic and the pine forests that lined many of the roads provided yet another sensory delight.

I cruised into Bemidji just a few minutes behind Cathy.  She had located a nice restaurant where we had our "Celebrate the start of the MRT" dinner.  She had been craving walleye pike for years and I could see why. 

It's a long day tomorrow from Bemidji to Grand Rapids (I had to connect with the route from the border).  Data follows:

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to you and Cathy on the start of your Adventure down the Mississippi River Trail! Students in my library/media class at Mt. Iron-Buhl's Merritt Elementary in Mt. Iron, MN will be following the blog and maps as you travel!! Our family had such a great visit and learned so much from you both already. Thanks for sharing!

    Today a 4th and 6th grade read about your technology and start from Itasca State Park. Exciting! Our school is on and near the Mesabi Trail and many of the students ride it often. We are glad you liked it. Good luck on the trail!