Day 0 – Shakeout Run

Well, we ended up doing this at Itasca.

First run from the Lodge TOWARD the Headwaters… Would have had to go another 3 miles out and 3 miles back to make it that far—and well, Tom seems to think we only need to run 5K’s these days. LOL.

This was a HILLY course to be sure, and I pushed to go faster for sure, but wasn’t really pushing pushing. I had more in me at the end and throughout. The biggest trouble were the DARN BUGS! I am like a magnet for them! They swarm around my head and body tagging along as I run until they swoop in and attack! Tomorrow: Bug wipes with DEET, OFF Spray, and these bug repellent bracelets that I’ll also wear on my ankles. I hope I will be invincible. Like forcefield invincible. Ha.

Also. Nutrition today included hard boiled egg, toast, and strawberries for breakfast. Half super slim jim and handful of grapes for lunch. A few bites of trail mix mid afternoon when feeling the energy fade and head begin to hurt. Obviously slim jim not chock full of nutrients………. Dinner, unknown.

Now. That’s my story, and the last you’ll hear of it I hope—because starting tomorrow the voices that will fill these pages will come from the banks of the Mississippi River. Tomorrow we talk to Terry Larson, long time resident of Itasca and river guide. We’ll also spend time with Keith Butler, Itasca historian, and Park Naturalist Sandra Lichter.

The week ahead has us traveling to the Itasca Biological Field Station as we truly launch the run FROM the Headwaters to convene with the incoming Nature of Life students and director Jonathan Schilling. Then we head on to Bemidji to meet up with Mayor Rita Albrecht and others from the DNR, Arts Council, and community at large. From Bemidji we head to Cass Lake for a pow wow with members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Then on to Bena to meet with local quill and beadwork artist Mel Losh and stay at the historic Big Winnie Store!

In Deer River we’ll interact with local residents at the largest Wild Rice Festival in Minnesota before heading to Grand Rapids for two days of interviews, events, and workshops organized by the Itasca County YMCA. Aitkin County follows, and I’ll give you the skinny on that and the recap on all of this in the next blog.

In all honesty, Tom is much better at logging the day’s account than I am, so check out his facebook post HERE. Really good stuff. And you don’t need to belong to Facebook to read it. It’s a public page. We’ll both be keeping tabs on things, here on the website as well as on Facebook and Instagram, so keep following along as you can.