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Just A Day in the Park Week 2: Driftless, Drifted, and Water-Logged

Just a Day in the Park
Just a Day in the Park with Traveler Luke Gorski

Traveler Luke Gorski continues his journey to visit each of the Minnesota State Parks this summer. Luke catches up with Heidi Holtan and John Latimer on the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show to share the update of where he's been, what he's seen, and what lies next on his summer-long trip. Click the player above to listen to the full interview, and keep up with Luke's travels each week on Tuesday morning.

Since Luke last spoke with Heidi and John, he has been visiting state parks in and within spitting distance of the Twin Cities. Luke visited William O'Brien, Interstate, Wild River. Nerstrand Big Woods, Lake Maria, Sakatah, and Rice Lake state parks. Of this group, geological features are what stood out.

"I visited Nerstrand Big Woods right after the big storms on Wednesday night [May 11th], so there were a few trails that were pretty water-logged," he said. "But in good news, the waterfall was flowing really well so that was nice to see. It was a great hike, aside from the one area that was pretty water logged."

Traveling in the southern part of the state, Luke noticed some of the peculiarities that developed because of glaciation in the area. "Nerstrand Big Woods is the closet park to the Driftless region that didn't get hit by glaciers, and you can see that with the stream carving, especially below the waterfall. It carved a deep valley and there is bedrock on both sides of the stream," he said.

Luke compared the driftless terrain to some of the other parks he visited this past week. "In Interstate State Park, the glaciers definitely pushed bedrock to that area. Wild River was very flat; almost all the parks I did last week were on glaciated land. But right now my favorite park was Interstate. That area had the most interesting terrain. With all the rocks and potholes, it felt like the northwoods without having to go that far north. It definitely had the best variety of the parks I've visited so far."

Latimer was also curious whether Luke had seen the Minnesota State Bird yet? "Any mosquitoes yet?"

"Yep! And they were in abundance! But no ticks yet." Luke added.

For those following along at home, Luke has a busy week planned. Today, he will travel to Minneopa. And between now and next Tuesday when we check in with Luke again, he'll traverse Myre-Big Island, Frontenac, Carley, Whitewater, John A. Latsch, Great River Bluffs, Lake Louise, and Forestville Mystery Cave.

If you have advice for Luke on what to see and do when he's in each of these Minnesota State Parks, please let us know on Facebook, or send us a comment at Comments @ KAXE.org .

Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.
As a mail carrier in rural Grand Rapids, Minn., for 35 years, John Latimer put his own stamp on a career that delivered more than letters. Indeed, while driving the hundred-mile round-trip daily route, he passed the time by observing and recording seasonal changes in nature, learning everything he could about the area’s weather, plants and animals, and becoming the go-to guy who could answer customers’ questions about what they were seeing in the environment.
Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.