Again, the traveling is easier as we move north into North Dakota and then east into Minnesota toward the Detroit Lake. This area is near Fargo and touts 400 lakes in the surrounding area. Are you kidding me? This is a fisherman’s dream! I can’t wait to explore.
A quick trip to the local tackle store for information effectively narrows the number of lakes that fit my requirements. The number one lake was named Little Cormorant Lake. It is even close to our parking space at Forest Hills Golf & RV Resort, a Coast to Coast resort. My first visit was an early morning excursion. As I quietly paddle up a shoreline, I hear the call of Loons.
These calls are the epitome of wilderness. Their haunting Tremolo and Yodel calls take me back to my fishing days with my dear friend Paul Bruun. These birds, although rarer in our Wyoming home than here where it is the Minnesota state bird, were our accepted good fishing charm. We always said that where the loons are, that is where the fish are and that is where we should fish. These calls this morning take me to a pleasant place with a forever friend. I am grateful!
Staying in our Coast to Coast RV site is a perk for our purchased membership in the Colorado River Resorts. That membership allows us to stay in Coast to Coast resorts for free. Well not technically as we had to put out the original purchase price for the membership. There are restrictions and Jude is getting to be a master at their navigation. Jude’s skills greatly help reduce our nomad traveling cost.
That leaves more funds to go on adventures and see the surrounding countryside. Our first adventure is Itasca Park. The lake that the park surrounds is the headwaters for the Mississippi River. It is cool that a mere wading stream becomes the major American river. It drains over 51 percent of the country and it travels nearly 2600 miles before it drains into the Gulf of Mexico; it takes a drop of water 90 days to travel that distance.
I am reminded that I have stood at the headwaters of Green River, the Snake and the Yellowstone River all within my home state of Wyoming. Wyoming is like an island in the United States and all rivers originated there and flow out. No rivers flow into the state.
The Yellowstone is the major tributary of the Missouri and it is the major tributary to the Mississippi. The Snake River is the major tributary to the Columbia and the Green River is the main tributary to the Colorado River. Thus, Wyoming is a major contributor to four important river systems. The only system originating in Wyoming that I have not been to is the Platte. It is the major tributary to the Rio Grande.
I am blessed with such an acquired list. I can honestly say that every headwater originates in very beautiful places. Itasca is no different just a little more accessible than the Wyoming River starts.
It is a very different experience driving here in Minnesota. It is hard to imagine all this water especially after years in sunbaked Arizona where the mere trickle of water is a novelty. Here it is the common almost at every bend in the road.
I realized that I am haunted by water. I cannot pass the myriad of lakes and ponds without wondering what angling opportunities exist there, what monsters live there and how I would catch them. With all these bodies of water, my mind is very busy. Whew!
Other ventures into the Minnesota countryside included a beautiful state park, called Maplewood. It was adorned with beautiful tree lined driving paths, groomed picnic areas and vistas of seven lakes within its borders. It has a history of being one of Minnesota’s first ski areas with multiple rope tows.
We see Minnesota with all of its summer greenness and it is not apparent that these beautiful lakes and surrounding country are very snow bound and frozen most of the winter! I learned that living in Wyoming if you did not find something to do outside in the winter, you would not endure. I am sure it is the same here.
We pack tonight, July 27th, and tomorrow make the longest drive we have had this summer season, pushing towards Lake Michigan. In Milwaukie, we will send our 13-year old traveling companion, Mia, home to California. We have enjoyed having her share our adventures and have already started making plans for our time with her next summer.
Wisconsin hints at a total adventure with travels up towards Sturgeon Bay and through the northern limits of both Wisconsin and Minnesota. This area is called the boundary waters. I think I hear the Loon calling!