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From Mackinac Island and Lake Huron, our trip led us further west across Wisconsin and along the Lakes Michigan and Superior, and from there across Minnesota to the headwaters of the Mississippi. 

Summer fun at our campground in Eagle River, Wisconsin

 

 

Our second Wisconsin campground, in Iron River, close to Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area; by total water volume surpassed only by the Aral lake in Siberia). The combined water volume of the 4 other Great Lakes (Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario) is less than 75% of Lake Superior!

Here, we took a 3 hour boat cruise across the Apostle Islands, a group of 21 islands in the southwestern corner of Lake Superior that are administered by the National Park Service as a National Seashore.
One of the islands, Devil Island, consists of so extremely soft and brittle sedimentary rock that wind and water have been able to erode huge caves and caverns just above the water level

 

 

Sunset over one of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior

Located in the southwestern corner of Lake Superior is Duluth, the westernmost seaport accessible for oceangoing vessels. 2,300 miles away from the Atlantic ocean, Duluth serves as a major freight hub, connecting America’s Midwest to the East Coast.

 

 

Going west from Duluth across northern Minnesota, we crossed the upper Mississippi for the first time.

The Mississippi, about 80 miles downstream from its headwaters

Our next overnight stop was in a beautiful campground in Lake Itasca State Park. The water exiting this lake is defined as the headwaters of the Mississippi.

Did you know that the average gradient, or slope, of the Mississippi is just 7 inches per mile?

We had lots of fun renting three kayaks and paddling across the lake to the actual headwaters.

Not many people can say that they walked across the Mississippi!

 

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