ALL 50 - Ray’s Journal Entry for: Day 38 - Sunday, June 1, 2003

Perham, Minnesota to Duluth, Minnesota

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Slept like a baby! Its 7 am and I can smell the coffee. A guy could get used to this, however, I have 26 more days!

I'm organizing my files and can smell the bacon, eggs and Walleye for breakfast.

After breakfast, its outside to wash the car. It is filthy and the bugs seem to be smeared on the nose of the car.

Itasca State Park

Walking Across the headwaters of the Mississippi River

Ron, Judy, Mom and I

1990 & 2003 Corvettes

Paul Bunyan and Blue, his ox

Leif Erikson Park

Leif Erikson statue

North Shore, Lake Superior

I have learned by now, that it takes two washing to try and get it clean. First a light touch once over, getting the majority of the grime off, and then a second to catch the places I missed. Mom helps and does the windows.

Mom is going to ride with me up to Itasca State Park and the headwaters of the Mississippi River. She has yellow slacks on, that almost match the color of the car and an ALL 50 T-shirt and red hat. Looking good Mom!

Our friends Ron and Judy are going to follow us up to the park and bring Mom home. Thank you Ron and Judy!

Arriving at Itasca Park, no entrance fee is required today, they are having an open house. I notice, while waiting in line a red convertible Corvette is behind Ron.

We proceed directly to the Headwaters. There are quite a few people here and we finally get our turn to take pictures at the marker.

I take off my shoes to walk across the headwaters, its been several years, but its the kid in me! I can't believe how warm the water is.

As we get back to the parking lot, there is the red Corvette. I hand him "The Card" and ask if he would mind pulling over so that I can get a picture of both cars.

His 1990 Red and My 2003 Yellow look good together. He bought this Corvette a couple of years ago after his wife died. It only had 20000 miles. He said, "I'm now going through my second mid-life crisis." I told him, I'm still on my first!

Thanking him, we are all on our way.

Next stop, Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox in Bemidji, Minnesota. Its a landmark of the North. Taking Paul's picture an Avalanche pulls up and several kids come running over to the car. I hand "The Card" to all. The couple are grandparents visiting from Tennessee and have brought the grand kids and friends to see Paul Bunyan and the Blue OX. As the kids run up to play, we chat about traveling. They have been to all 50 states at one time or another and wish me well on my trip.

Coming over the hill, Lake Superior comes into view. The one and only time I had been here before was in college on a ski trip and we were in a blizzard, so this is all new to me. I pull into Leif Erikson Park and look out at the Duluth harbor. It is beautiful. Proceeding down to the waterfront, there are numerous shops and restaurants. for a Sunday evening there are still plenty of people out and about.

I sit down to enjoy the waterfront and watch the sunset.

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