Lake Itasca State Park, Minnesota—June 2016

47° 14’ 20.46”N 95° 12’ 35.18”W

The Blue Buoy cairn is viewed from the hiking trail bridge, just downstream from Lake Itasca, visible in the background. this site is near the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center in Lake Itasca State Park 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. In the 1930s, the Federal Work Progress administration made improvements to the park.