Monday, September 2, 2013

THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN BEMIDJI, MINNESOTA?

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Bemidji, Minnesota is an Ojibwa Indian name. Kudo’s to the city that actually honored Native Americans with a plaque. A first in my book. Resting in the gardens surrounding the Bemidji Visitor Center when you cross over the bridge and enter the town.
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The gardens are a native plant preserve and snuggle up next to small Lake Bemidji. Giant trout, yellow perch, walleyed pike, and whitefish reward the persistent fisherman. This guy says he fishes three days a week and the fish have their “seasons”.
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The lake water forms a river that runs south. This is considered the birth place of the Mighty Mississippi River. DSC09232 (Copy)
Cattails are prolific here and a survival food for humans and animals. (That comes from my days of trying to camp out with my kids and eat straight from the land.)  It was fun but left us starving. The roots make a flour and the tails when green are a vegetable similar to very skinny corn on the cob. (I had just read Stalking The Wild Asparagas, by Euel Gibbons.)  They are a beautiful pond plant anyway. It always amazes me what long forgotten memories come out of the depths when I write.
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The Center has a sculpture garden that we enjoyed.
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People line up to have their picture taken with Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan. I grew up on Paul Bunyan stories and poems, and now I think they are kinda hokey. The visitor center is located in the arts district of Bemidji and the sculpture installations went right on into the first four blocks of town.
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If you are going to have a bike rack, why not make it an artistic bike rack.
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Same for a bench. I’m not sure you could actually sit on this one though. It was Labor Day Weekend and most of the businesses were closed, the streets nearly barren of traffic.
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Don’t know where my fascination for rusty stuff comes from. Maybe my farm background?
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This section of town was artsy in other ways, too.
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Interesting signage, fun shops, like comics, baseball cards, cool threads, used stuff, fabric, sewing machines, consignment stores, fun restaurants, (few of them open), two brew pubs, (both closed)  one pub, Keg and Cork was open, but we passed.
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We are getting close to our picture upload limit but since I am on a borrowed signal where we are staying at the Elks, I get to splurge.
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A flying pig situated near Bene Tutto, an upscale Italian Restaurant (closed) with a pig as part of its logo.
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Also within walking distance of the visitors center, a county historical museum. It, too was closed but a veterans memorial was in the museum side yard. Untypical of this memorial was a salute to the Merchant Marines. Merchant sailors had to sign war papers and lost more men by percentage than any other branch of service. They finally got veterans recognition in 1988.
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Also unique, recognizing the services of the Coast Guard.  (I’ve noticed that several of my vertical pictures are not loading properly, but if you click on them they come up.)
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And, not only women, but women and men of color. I think I like this town.
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We spent the night at the Eagles where Amazing Angela, the friendliest singing bartender we ever met holds sway. We supported their fundraiser, spaghetti dinner,  for a child born with multiple problems, surgeries and huge medical bills. Now, if we can overcome the pervasive Koch brothers disinformation campaign about Obamacare, kids like this little boy won’t put his parents in the poor house.

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