We’ve been parked at Lake Bemidji State Park, Minnesota for the last week. We are nestled in among the pine trees, enjoying camp fires, writing new songs, biking, hiking, resting and basking in the cooler temperatures of 68-74 degree. Can you believe it was only four weeks ago that we were in the midst of 105 degrees? Wow! And, we would have bought that stupid air conditioner and had to lug it around in our 300 sq feet, with a bill to boot. Ha! Relief has finally come.
Besides camping out, we’ve had some wonderful Hollands! performances across the state of Minnesota, including a rollicking time at The Legends and Logging festival, held on the Antique Tractor Farm in Park Rapids, MN.
The Legends and Logging festival is run by the Chamber of Commerce and brings in skilled chainsaw artists, axe throwers and fiercely competitive loggers. They also had kick boxing demonstrations, beekeepers, farmer’s market, wool spinners, blacksmiths and a cooperage demonstration. Face painting and music, including The Hollands! to top it all off. Our son found a few treasures at the local goods store and bartered with a rendezvous and trade-smith, a CD for a wooden bow and arrow.
We also visited the Mississippi Headwaters at Itasca State Park. (Pronounced I-task-a) This is where the grand Mississippi begins. If you’ve never visited the headwaters of a river, we encourage it. There is something very humble about the beginnings of a mighty river. We learned that it only takes 90 days for a rain drop to travel from the headwaters down to the Gulf of Mexico. We learned that during the great depression there was a boys camp set up to harvest and take care of the State parks. We learned that Mary Gibbs was instrumental in keeping the Minnesota forests in tack. We hiked along the banks and crossed the ankle-deep water about 20 feet to the other side. We can now say that we have crossed the Mississippi river on foot. We gathered up a few rocks and hiked a bit more before heading back to the bus for some lunch.
A few other Minnesota performances included the listening crowds at Glacial Ridge Winery and Lake Bemidji State Park amphitheater (photo on the top left).
Our favorite venue was the Baudette Train Depot. Only eight months ago we were in Snoqualmie Falls, WA performing and visiting and happen to stumble upon a historical train depot. It was on that day that we said how lovely it would be to play a concert at a train depot. A few months later we got an e-mail from the kind folks in Baudette. Baudette is located on the border of Canada and Minnesota, the county seat and Walleye capital of the world. The Train Depot itself has been undergoing reconstruction over the past year with a guidance of the most friendly and kind soul you could ever meet, Joanne Kellner. She has been the catalyst in bringing us up to Baudette and in getting the historical noting behind this depot and is a real community builder. We were delighted to share in story and song with these fine folks.
We’ll be in Minnesota until friday, making our way down to the Green Scene in Walker and on to Brewed Awakings Cafe in Grand Rapids, where we will be arriving just after the Obama Campaign Bus departs. That’ll be something.