Thursday, June 23, 2022
Temperature 91 Degrees, Abundant Sunshine
Blood Tests, Shopping, and Sightseeing
Today was a day to get out and about. We had several errands to run and we also wanted to do some sightseeing in the city of Bemidji.
The city is only about 15 minutes from our site. Thus, we were there in a jiffy.
This was our first stop. As part of my ongoing treatment for prostate cancer I need to have several blood tests done and an injection every three months. Well, let me tell you getting both of them done while on the road was quite a feat. Thankfully, Ms. Barbara was up to the task. I mean, I would be lost without her. What she first discovered was that there is no Quest or anything like it in the state of Minnesota. She had to go to plan B. She made one phone call after another and finally was able to locate this clinic that would be willing to do the blood tests. The injection comes next week. That too required lots and lots of phone calls.
This was our next stop. My good lady had been looking for an Aldi every since we left Florida. She loves to shop here and finds a number of bargains that helps to keep the food bill a bit lower. Every little bit helps.
After our shopping trip we went to the Visitor’s Center. It was here that we learned a bit about the city of Bemidji. We learned that it is the first city on the Mississippi. We discovered that the city’s name comes from the native American word for the lake, Bemijigamaag, which means a lake with water (the Mississippi River) flowing through it.
This is the lake from which the name of the town came from. This lake is 6,596 acres in size. It is about 76 feet at its deepest point. Located less than 50 miles downstream from the source of the Mississippi River, it both receives and is drained by the Mississippi River.
Outside the Visitor Center stand Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox. For years Bemidji has been recognized as the home of Paul and Babe. The Paul Bunyan statue was erected in 1937 and is 18 feet high and weights two and a half tons. Babe was originally built to be mobile and so was first covered with canvas. In 1939 he was finally placed here next to Paul. His horn span is 14 feet and he weights 5 tons. The two figures remain permeant symbols of Bemidji and its colorful past of logging and lumberjacks.
Some special facts about Paul and Babe
Every time Paul sneezed he blew the roof off the bunkhouse
Paul is said to have dug and built Niagara Falls for a shower bath
Paul’s lung power was so great that once he blew too hard and felled twelve acres of jack pine
Babe stamped around so much that his hoof prints filled up with water and made Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes
On wash day the laundry was hung out to dry on Babe’s horns
Babe refused to haul logs unless the road was snow covered, so Paul had to whitewash the roads in summer
Inside the Visitor Center we discovered some left over items of Paul’s
Paul’s stocking cap.
Leaving the Visitor Center
we went downtown where we were told we would find various pieces of sculpture on different street corners. And so we did.
The sculptures are part of what is called the Bemidji Sculpture Walk. It began in 1999 and promotes the work of local artists. Each piece is available for sale. The sculpture walk changes annually so what we saw today well probably not be the same this time next year.
That was our day on The Road of Retirement. It was great to get out and learn about, and see some of the region that we find ourselves in. Tomorrow, hopefully we’ll get to see even more.
Thanks again for spending some time with us. It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest.
Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before.