On July 1, after pedaling 2316 miles over 7 weeks and 2 days, I reached the headwaters of the Mississippi River, at 1450 feet above sea level.
It was overcast with a mild headwind and comfortable temperature. I was still feeling under the weather, but it was time to complete the MRT (Mississippi River Trail).
While I was off for 3 days in Bemidji, the winds reached 30 – 50mph gusts from the south, with intermittent rain, so getting the flu and resting then was good timing.
The river kept getting smaller, meandering through the bush, and eventually I got to the source at Lake Itasca, in Itasca State Park. This is a popular spot, with a paved bike path for 16 miles around the lake, and extended path to open this year. There are canoe and bike rentals, fishing and swimming. The water is nice and warm.
However, it soon started to rain, and I was glad to find an IH Hostel with only one other guest, Ken, a cyclist from Winnipeg, who comes here often for the cycling.
We fed the mosquitoes while hiking to the fire lookout tower, and you can see for yourself how low the clouds were, but you had to be there to believe the wind and horizontal rain.
I followed up with a steak at the Douglas Lodge, and thought “Wow, I did it”.