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RIVER LIFE

River Rangers Itasca State Park Trip!

February 22, 2013Ellen FolmanFormer Featured PostsComments Off on River Rangers Itasca State Park Trip!

February 8-9th, nine River Rangers and I were able to escape from the twin cities and spend time at Itasca State Park.  Itasca State Park is located in northern Minnesota and home of the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.  The goal of our student organization is to connect students, faculty and community members to the Mississippi, and we made the drive north to see the river’s “small beginnings.”

While at the park, we stayed in University of Minnesota Biological Station cabins, where we enjoyed great food, company, and most importantly, heat!  Our trip was cut short due to a winter storm, but we still packed a lot of activities into the two days we were there!  As a group, we:

  • Took a night hike out to Lake Itasca and watched the stars (Erin even saw a shooting star!)
  • Enjoyed the silence of the north woods and even heard the pines “singing”
  • Tried our hand at being a lumberjack at the Old Time Logging Demonstration
  • Experienced the headwaters of the Mississippi River and many club members crossed without falling in!
  • Snowshoed in the lovely 8+ inches of fresh snow on a trail near the headwaters

Here is an trip experience quote from one of our participants: “No lights at night, the snow on the river frozen, surrounded by pine trees, the sound of the wind passing through the pine trees, watching dozens of stars in the night sky, I laid the place which covered by snow, noticed what is peace and tranquility…”

We would like to thank the University of Minnesota Student Unions and Activities for our grant award for the trip, the National Park Service for allowing us to rent their snowshoes, Itasca State Park staff for meeting with us at the Old Time Logging Demonstration, and the Itasca Biological Station staff for accommodating our stay and speaking to our group.  All of their efforts made this trip possible and we are very appreciative!

This spring semester, we have a lot of great events planned for River Rangers.  To find out more about these events or connect with us, email rrangers@umn.edu to join our email list and “like” our Facebook page.

I hope to see you at our future events,
Ellen Folman, River Rangers President

Check out the gallery of pictures from the trip!

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A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.