This is Lake Itasca, in Minnesota, the source of the Mississippi river.
Here is the actual beginning of the river…
Silly people come here from all over just so they can say they waded across the Mississippi.
Silly people. *Editors note: this silly person is my dear Uncle Alan Kruetzer.
But I wonder: How did they decide that this was the Mississippi? As you come up river you come to lots of places where, say, the river goes right, and a tributary comes in from the left. Couldn’t you just as easily say that the tributary is on the right, and the left fork is the river? So what we call the Missouri is actually the Mississippi turning west at St Louis, and the one going north from there is, say, the Minnesota River?
But! It’s been decided! It’s been officially certified, by the National Bureau of Making Decisions About Rivers, that this river, and no other, is the actual, genuine, bona-fida Mississippi River!
So the silly people all went away happy.