The bright morning sun shining through the glass doors of the cabin woke us up early. We packed our gear and took a walk around Ruttger’s Resort before breakfast. Joyce had made arrangements with Enterprise Car Rental at the Bemidji Airport to send a driver to pick us up around 8:30 AM. Krista, the Enterprise driver and native Minnesotan, told us that she is a photographer and avid Loon follower. In fact, she planned to go to a nearby lake that evening to listen to their haunting, yet musical birdcalls.
After renting the car, we returned to Ruttger’s, loaded our bikes, and drove to Itasca State Park, the headwaters of the Mississippi. Joyce took off her socks and shoes and waded through the water while I captured this moment on film. It’s hard to believe that the Mississippi River runs 2552 miles from spring-fed Itasca Lake in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Wanting to learn more but running short on time, we exited the state park and resumed our route to the Fargo Airport.
Prior to our trip, we made arrangements with Great Northern Bicycle Company to ship our bikes home. We were impressed by the professionalism and efficiency of this well-established bike shop located in the restored train depot in downtown Fargo. Within minutes, they checked in our bikes and helped us complete the paperwork so that we could get to the airport to catch our flight.
The Fargo airport was smaller than we anticipated. We returned our rental car, purchased sandwiches to eat on our flight, and went through security (my selfie stick aroused suspicion so my bag was searched) to our gate. After a short connection in Chicago, we returned to Atlanta. I was glad to be home to my husband and family, and I felt a rewarding sense of satisfaction for reaching my goal!