Modest might

Not far from our cabin in northern Minnesota lies lovely Itasca State Park.  It was established in 1891 and is Minnesota’s oldest state park.  That is one of the two reasons for its claim to fame; the other is that the modest site where this small stream flows out of Lake Itasca has been officially recognized as the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which from here flows 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.  Its recognition as such is attributed to explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, thanks to Anishinabe (also called Ojibwe in Canada and Chippewa in the US) guide Ozawindib, who led Schoolcraft to the site in 1832.  With the help of an educated missionary companion, Schoolcraft created the name Itasca from the Latin words for “truth” (veritas) and “head,” (caput) by linking the last two syllables in the first word and the first syllable in the second.

Mississippi headwaters 14609In the late 1800s, Jacob V. Brower, historian, anthropologist and land surveyor, came to the park region to settle the dispute of the actual location of the Mississippi Headwaters. Brower saw this region being quickly transformed by logging, and was determined to protect some of the pine forests for future generations. It was Brower’s tireless efforts to save the remaining pine forest surrounding Lake Itasca that led the state legislature to establish Itasca as a Minnesota State Park on April 20, 1891, by a margin of only one vote. Through his conservation work and the continuing efforts of others throughout the decades, the splendor of Itasca had been maintained.  [Thanks to Minnesota’s DNR website for the historical information.]

Any trip to northern Minnesota is greatly enriched by a visit to this inspiring place.  (I made this photo a month ago, on the last day of September; please click on it for a higher-resolution image.)


About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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16 Responses to Modest might

  1. neihtn2012 says:

    Beautiful photo, the kind I would like to be able to make.

  2. So that is where it starts…….Reading your commentary I do have to ask ‘where have ALL the far sighted men(and of course women) gone to?’….all those brave individuals who did stand up for the environment long before we had conservation groups. They seemed to achieve a great deal for us to benefit from today. Here in the U.K. Government is an a slow and subtle way starting to erode away a great many of the safeguards for our National Parks and we the public seem so powerless. Oh! did I say ‘Love the shot’

    • krikitarts says:

      Ah, yes, you are so right! At least your national parks, as far as I know, don’t get closed to the public because of petty, sophomoric political squabbling. Indeed, the environmentalists of yesteryear could teach today’s crop of average folk quite a bit about stewardship.

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    a beautiful, tranquil picture, Gary. A

    • krikitarts says:

      We were really lucky with the weather. Believe me, it’s not always that tranquil. I went back once more in October with visiting friends and only two of the four of braved the short hike to the headwaters, umbrellas in hand. Still, it’s worth it under any conditions!

  4. Victoria says:

    Such a beautiful place and great shot.
    Maybe a compulsory ‘conservation & environment’ subject every year in schools might help (instead of outdated language subjects – what good was 3 years studying French to me).

    • krikitarts says:

      Great idea with the conservation & environment musts, but on the other hand, you never know when a bit of language skill can come in handy. I had one year of German during my freshman year in college, and wound up using that as the stepping stone for getting my veterinary degree in Berlin. And with only two exceptions, all my exams were orals!

  5. Fascinating story and gorgeoussssssss photo :). It looks like a great place to relax and recharge.

  6. seekraz says:

    That’s a beautiful image, Gary…and thank you for sharing the history, as well… vote……

  7. Ika says:

    This view is stunning!!! Remind me my childhood, playing in the water behind my parents house..

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