CROSSING THE MISSISSIPPI
Lake Itasca State Park, Minnesota—June 2016
47° 14’ 23”N 95° 12’ 28”W
The Blue Buoy cairn sits at the point where the Mississippi River emerges from Lake Itasca. Children and adults cross the Mississippi River, near the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center, on stones installed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. The stones mark the location where the Mississippi River begins its 2,350-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. (It takes a raindrop 90 days to make the trip.) Thanks to the efforts of historian, anthropologist, and land surveyor Jacob V. Brower, the park was established in 1891 to save the pine forests surrounding Lake Itasca.