Bemidji and the lake on which it sits are named after the Indian chief who was here when the first white settlers arrived. A friendly and well liked fellow.
Paul Bunyan, the folklore superhero, got started in these parts. A statue of him and his blue ox graces the Visitor Info Center since 1937, the year it was erected and featured in Life magazine.
Dean, one of the information people, grew up in North Dakota, and rides his bike to work every day. He confirmed that Highways 200/52 will make a quiet and quaint back roads ride through North Dakota, for my return to sunny Alberta.
Bemidji has bike paths all over the place, as does the rest of Minnesota, many of them paved for 60 – 80 miles.
The library even has bike tools and a pump outside, like you would normally find for snowboards at a ski resort. If you like biking, this is the place to come for your vacation.
Maybe they need bikes here more than most, so you can keep moving, since in addition to gnats and mosquitoes, the place now has biting black flies. I found myself being a meal for a bunch of flies today, despite sitting in a downtown park with 30 – 50 mph wind gusts, and moving twice.
Bemidji has a state university and the county administrative offices, and has a pleasant small town ambience. The library is modern, and there’s a theater where I saw the musical “I Do I Do” for $22 last night. Well done, and entertaining.
I’m on an adventure vacation. The adventure part is that it has been constantly raining and showering since I got to Bemidji. I left the theater at 10 pm in the dark, and got soaked for the last 15 minutes of my ride.
Now, I’m typing this at the Burger King because it started raining just as I was about leave this morning, and has stopped and been sunny and rained again twice since I started typing.
It’s a good thing the Mississippi flows into and out of Lake Bemidji, or everyone would need webbed feet like the other Canadians I found hanging out at the lake.
And I have a sore throat and think I may have a flu or something. It’s not really an adventure vacation unless you get sick at least once, is it?