DAY 9 – WEDNESDAY JULY 17

GRAND RAPIDS TO JACOBSON When I was a kid, Jacobson was this neat place with a high truss bridge by a wayside rest along a river. We passed through on our way to Hill City. I always wanted to stop, but I was in the back seat of a ’72 Chevy Kingswood wagon and didn’t have access to the steering wheel or brakes.  Yesterday, I was in the driver’s seat – a bicycle seat. Jacobson here we come . . . The Jacobson Farmer’s Hall (now called the Community Center) was conceived and built by Victor Bjorkquist and a group …

DAY 8 – TUESDAY JULY 16

LAYOVER IN GRAND RAPIDS You know it’s a good day when you begin the morning and end the evening with a good meal among good friends. By that measure, our second day in Grand Rapids was a success. But also because we had an extra day to listen deeper to the community – thanks again to the efforts of Joni Namyst (and daughter Jenna), John Latimer, Scott Hall and the folks at KAXE-FM (Grand Rapids). We arrived at the KAXE studio on the Mississippi near the new trail bridge just after 8:00 AM. Scott invited us in to share the project …

Woman travelling the length of the Mississippi to make Prescott stop this month

By Zane Douglas on Jul 16, 2019 at 9:39 a.m. | River Falls Journal Running a marathon is hard. Extremely hard. The training that goes into it is extensive, difficult and time-consuming. Victoria Bradford Styrbicki won’t let that get in the way of her mission which is to run the length of the Mississippi River. She’ll have to run or bike a marathon every single day. Bradford Styrbicki is the creator of a project called Relay of Voices. She plans to run from Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, she’ll be stopping in …

DAY 7 – MONDAY JULY 15

DEER RIVER TO GRAND RAPIDS The day stared with a fast 5K by Victoria out of Deer River. I took over on bike, covering the remaining miles to Grand Rapids. Fought a headwind as I rode south, but relief came as I turned east. Heard the first cicada of summer in Cohasset! We stopped along the way at Tioga Beach on Lake Pokegama to meet Sandy and Jeff Bromenschenkel, our hosts for the next two nights. They live at River Mile 1201 on the Upper Mississippi – a beautiful property that overlooks a landscape free of any sign of human …

DAY 6 – SUNDAY JULY 14

BENA TO DEER RIVER Short post today. Just a run and a ride followed by a ride and a run from Bena to Deer River, gathering landscapes (and deer flies) along the way. Tom run – Victoria ride – Tom ride – Victoria run. The exchanges are the fun part! No scheduled interviews today. We gathered voices and movement at Deer River’s 71st Wild Rice Festival. It’s the world’s largest wild rice festival (you knew that already). The parade started at 1:00 PM and the streets were packed with on-lookers from 6th and Division down to the high school. A …

DAY 5 – SATURDAY JULY 13

CASS LAKE TO BENA Finished Day 4 with Mary and Terry Larson at their special place on Wolf Lake – a loon party just starting as we left! Fell asleep to a nice sunset on the south shore of Cass Lake. And what a day today . . .  Woke at Norway Beach to a riot of birds at 4:00 AM – really, birds? We took an early walk to the pit bathrooms down the road. Mosquitoes not as bad as expected but many bites along the way. Broke camp and packed the van. Did some last-minute reconnaissance of Victoria’s …

Sally Fineday

Sally Fineday, born 1962, born and raised in Cass Lake, Minnesota on family tribal land. A member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe who has left home and returned multiple times out of a calling to serve her people. Sally’s Ojibwe name, Oshikawebie, means “one who crosses over,” and while the spiritual sentiment is inherent, I couldn’t help but recognize that the elder who gave her this name must have known she would also be crossing over the divide between native and non-native through the work she would do in her life and career. Our afternoon with Sally began …

DAY 4 – JULY 12, 2019

BEMIDJI TO CASS LAKE We were surprised by familiar faces on a beautiful sunny morning in Bemidji. Friends of the relay, Joe Hamlin and Angel Staples came to see us off from Paul Bunyan park! They met us again at the end of the segment in Cass Lake and I got to see their special place on the Mississippi along the way. Thanks for the support, Joe and Angel! The glitches along the way, including an off-course excursion by Tom, were all forgotten as we spent an enlightening afternoon with Sally Fineday, an active and forward-thinking member of the Leech …

A Relay on the river: Relay of Voices group stops in Bemidji to learn about the Mississippi

Written By: Annalise Braught | Jul 11th 2019 – 3pm BEMIDJI — Relay of Voices made a stop at Paul Bunyan Park on Thursday to visit with local officials and members of the community with the goal of learning about the impact the Mississippi River has on the Bemidji area.  Relay of Voices is a program spearheaded by Victoria Bradford Styrbicki, executive and artistic director of A House Unbuilt based in Louisiana.  Styrbicki is working with community members in 104 towns along the 2,400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River to select people in each of those towns to visit with and shadow for …

DAY 3 – July 11, 2019

ITASCA STATE PARK TO BEMIDJI Tom ran out of Itasca State Park with Jonathan, Tanner and Brittany – with a nice send off from staff, faculty and students. Toes were baptized again at the headwaters along the way. Run/Bike exchange and Victoria headed north. Beautiful day for cycling and gathering the landscape of trees, sky and birds (didn’t see any fungi, Jonathon). Road Closed Ahead!! Thankfully it was open to County Road 40 where Victoria turned east toward Bemidji. Many miles later we met our gracious hosts at Paul Bunyan Park, which was absolutely buzzing with activity. Bikes and runners, …