Thursday, August 9, 2007

Updates and Itasca State Park

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything in the blog. It has been so hot here that we mostly sit inside with the air on. We have sun most of the day and it gets like an oven inside Emily. The heat reflects off the concrete pad, and makes it even hotter. We did manage to rouse ourselves to do a couple of things.
Last week was the Benton County fair. It was your typical little 4-H fair, with goats, pigs, etc. We were looking for something different to eat, but we couldn't find anything that caught our eye that we don't have at home. Tom had a meatball sandwich and I had an Italian chicken sandwich. Then, of course, we each had a funnel cake. Rain threatened, and then blew away. Still no rain here.
We had a few days off, so we decided to go to Itasca State Park. Lake Itasca is the headwaters for the Mississippi River. We stayed at the state park campgrounds there. You could tell they have had more rain than here. The grass is green and needs to be mowed. It is a good 3 and 1/2 hours from St. Cloud. The drive was really very nice. Lots of small touristy (is that a word?) towns. There is a reason they call Minnesota the Land of 10,000 Lakes. They are everywhere. I have to tell you, the trip was well worth it. The history of the area is documented by signs and photos as you walk along the different paths, and stop at the spots of interest. The headwaters is the busiest.
Years ago at the point where the lake starts to form the river, they have made a little dam of rocks. Everyone wants to step in the water. You will see what I mean by the pictures that we will post. We did not take off our shoes, there were so many folks there, we just took some photos and watched for a while. It is so neat to see how The Mighty Mississippi starts out as such a small creek. We picked up a couple of little stones, one for Connor's rock collection, and one for ourselves. With a stop at the gift shop and a couple of little purchases we were on the the rest of the park.
Two of the attractions are the Big White Pine Tree, and The Big Red Pine Tree. The White was amazing. It stood so big over the area like it was guarding the place. The Red pine was another story. The top had been blown off by a high winds just last month. It was sad to see what was once a mighty Champion (it was tied for the largest in U.S.) now dying. The white was around 300 years old. I wanted to touch it, like touching a living piece of history, but they have a wooden fence around it so no one abuses it. Sad to say, some folks just do stuff like that.
We came back to more hot and dry weather, and were grateful for the short time away from all the heat. Back to work, and on we go. We can't believe we have been here almost 2 months. We must be having fun because the time is flying.

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