Minnesota Part II: Bemidji

Our second Minnesota stop was in Bemidji, in the north central part of the state. Initially we thought about driving south toward Minneapolis/ St. Paul for our second stop in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but we could not find any stellar RV parks in that area of the state. After several days of researching our options, we decided to stay on a path due west of Duluth and drive a couple of hours to Bemidji – the first city on the Mississippi. We ended up being pleased with our choice. Bemidji was a small quiet town of about 13,000 residents. The town was built on a lake so the scenery was pretty. The downtown was busy with lots of specialty shops and restaurants, there was a state park about 20 minutes away from us, and we were close to lots of trails where we could walk the dogs. The park itself was small, but quiet and clean. We only had 30 amps this time, so we had to be strategic when it came to running the washing machine, air conditioner, hot water heater, and/or microwave. We turned on the generator every morning so I could run a load of laundry. I was very grateful to the owner of the campground for allowing us to do that. Not all campgrounds allow their guests to run generators.

We didn’t take too many daytrips from this stop, but we did make a short drive to Lake Itasca. We wanted to see the headwaters of the Mississippi. Lake Itasca State Park was really beautiful, and it was fun to finally see where the Mighty Mississippi originates. The rest of our time was spent taking advantage of small town Minnesota – picking up produce at the farmer’s market, taking long walks on several state trails, shopping at the mom & pop stores, and wandering around the local art festival on Saturday morning. Mike was able to fish a couple of times and hit golf balls at a nearby driving range. It was a low key and enjoyable two weeks.

Our spot during this stop.

Our spot during this stop.

Bemidji happens to be the home town of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. They greeted us at the Visitor's Center when we walked there to pick up some tourist brochures.

Bemidji happens to be the home town of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. They greeted us at the Visitor’s Center when we walked there to pick up some tourist brochures.

What do you do when your husband starts to grill dinner and a surprise rain shower lets loose directly overhead? Bring him an umbrella and refresh his cocktail.

What do you do when your husband starts to grill dinner and a surprise rain shower lets loose directly overhead? Bring him an umbrella and refresh his cocktail.

The town of Bemidji has public art on every corner, literally. One of the themes around town was dragonflies.

The town of Bemidji has public art on every corner, literally. One of the themes around town was dragonflies.

We felt lucky to stumble upon this little musical concert at the amphitheater in Bemidji State Park after one of our afternoon walks.

We felt lucky to stumble upon this little musical concert at the amphitheater in Lake Bemidji State Park after one of our afternoon walks.

Ruttgers is a small lakeside resort on Lake Bemidji. They are only open for the summer season. The restaurant was open to non-guests and it was the only place in town that would allow Piper and Cessna to join us at the table.

Ruttgers is a small lakeside resort on Lake Bemidji. They are only open for the summer season. The restaurant was open to non-guests and it was the only place in town that would allow Piper and Cessna to join us at the table.

Our back yard at Royal Oaks RV Park.

Our back yard at Royal Oaks RV Park.

We have crossed the Mississippi River dozens of times since the beginning of our adventure. It was very interesting to finally make it to the 'starting point'.

We have crossed the Mississippi River dozens of times since the beginning of our adventure. It was very interesting to finally make it to the ‘starting point’.

The headwaters of the Mississippi River.

The headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Lake Itasca - where the Mississippi River originates.

Lake Itasca – where the Mississippi River originates.

The Mississippi River starts out as a tiny little stream.

The Mississippi River starts out as a tiny little stream.

We came across this random totem pole during an afternoon walk as we made our way through the campus of Bemidji State University.

We came across this random totem pole during an afternoon walk as we made our way through the campus of Bemidji State University.

Lake Bemidji.

Lake Bemidji.

The beautiful path where we took the dogs for long walks at Lake Bemidji State Park.

The beautiful path where we took the dogs for long walks at Lake Bemidji State Park.

The Mississippi River flows into the west side of Lake Bemidji and keeps flowing east as it leaves the other side of the lake. A short distance down its path is when it turns south toward Minneapolis.

The Mississippi River flows into the west side of Lake Bemidji and keeps flowing east as it leaves the other side of the lake. A short distance down its path is when it turns south toward Minneapolis.

We found some live music on Saturday night at the Brigid Irish Pub in downtown Bemidji.

We found some live music on Saturday night at the Brigid Irish Pub in downtown Bemidji.

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