In my two decades growing up and going to school in Minnesota, I rarely travelled in the northern part of the state. On this trip, I crossed the border into Minnesota at Fargo and then continued north to Bemidji, where I spent a few days relaxing with my sister and her husband at their cabin on Big Turtle Lake. It was a lovely interlude between my road trip from Seattle and the start of my art residency on Mallard Island. We took a long bike ride one day along the Paul Bunyan Trail.
When you are in northern Minnesota you can see why the state’s slogan is “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.” The land is mixed woods and marshes and farmland, and lakes and ponds dot the landscape in between.
I left Bemidji early on Sunday morning to head even farther north to International Falls, where I would meet the nine other artists at Bald Rock dock for the start of our week on Mallard Island on Rainy Lake. Three times I saw deer alongside the road. There was little traffic.
I had time to visit the Rainy Lake Visitor Center in Voyageurs National Park before our meet up time. I walked the Oberholtzer Trail there.
It was still too early in the season for Minnesota’s spectacular displays of colored fall foliage. But driving along Hwy 53 south to my family farm, I saw little pockets of color. A teasing taste of the flaming landscape to come.
It was still green farther south. As I drove the final few miles to my brother’s farm, I enjoyed the Midwest sky full of high, white clouds. (We rarely see skies like this in Seattle.)