THE MINNESOTA BUCK KNUCKLE II

7/21/2022     

The curved Minnesota protrusion pushing into eastern South Dakota just below the North Dakota border is jokingly known as the Buck Knuckle by people of toilet humor caliber. Within this bulge lies an east/west Continental Divide that separates rainfall to flow either to the north or south of this bisection. Known as the Laurentian Divide, this demarcation runs from the Atlantic Ocean in northern Labrador to Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana. This peak has the distinction of having where the junction of 3 watersheds meet. If you were a male and climbed up to the top of this 8,000′-plus mountain with a 6-pack of beer, you could theoretically urinate into 3 major bodies of water. As you spun around this spot pissing, some pee would flow north into the Arctic Ocean, some would go west into the Pacific Ocean, and some wee wee would find its way into the Gulf of Mexico. How’s that for marking your territory? Going east along this barrier, the Laurentian Divide is at the heart of the BK. It separates the Bois de Sioux River that soon becomes the Red River, which flows north into Hudson Bay and the Minnesota River that flows south. That river then dumps into the Mississippi River and flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Browns Valley, Minnesota lies in the saddle of the 2 watersheds and is also famous for an 8,000-year-old man whose remains were discovered there. It is unknown if this 30-something year old knew where he was standing then, but he may have seen a huge lake to the north (Lake Agassiz) that may have been emptying through this saddle and carving out the Minnesota River Valley by the Ancient Glacier River Warren. He may have been hunting Bison Antiquis or even some remaining Mastodons of that time. Who knows? In time, the largest lake in North America drained down to that elevation and as the burden of the overlying glaciers melted, the ground rebounded and shut off the southern exit. Just ask that old Neo American

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