This is another one of our “happy places” in 2016 that deserves its fair recognition. We visited the North Shore over a weekend in June and had one of the most remarkable day-trips of the year.
This was one of our “happy places” in 2016 and it deserves to be documented. If you missed my previous post on Olema, CA, you can read it by clicking here. We visited Minnesota in May and June of 2016.
Highlights of 2016: #2 Our Minnesota Experience
Brendan was thrilled to spend his 10th birthday in Minnesota. His one request was to spend his special day fishing. We happily obliged his and discovered why the region of of 10,000 lakes is off-the-charts amazing for outdoor lovers of every age.
In planning for our Minnesota adventure, I realized that I knew very little about this state. As I began my research, I discovered quickly that the northern lakes region seemed to fit our style. How would I narrow down a location though? After all, Minnesota only has ten thousand lakes…give or take a few. Hello?! There are lakes everywhere! Well, I narrowed my search for the perfect destination down to two contributing factors: a highly recommended and affordable campground and a location that is within a one-hour drive to a major airport. The later was so that my husband could reasonably travel for business.
My favorite resource for locating campgrounds is Campendium, however as this review platform was in its infancy, it had not built up enough reviews in Minnesota to help me with this search (but check them out now, as their data base is growing with feedback and their search features are superior to their counterparts). I turned to RV Park Reviews and Google for campground recommendations. One of the top parks in the state, based on it’s high review-rating was Country Campground in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Based solely on the fact that this campground had fabulous reviews, I made a reservation to arrive at the end of May and routed our travels to get us there.
Detroit Lakes is a small town with lakes around every corner and a tiny downtown that brings the community together.
Lexi spent plenty of time with the camera in the beautiful state.
Brendan spent his 10th birthday fishing.
His favorite, and most memorable present was a kayak!
And we all enjoyed celebrating him…of course it involves the Barry Cake. This cake is what my mother-in-law made for my husband when he was a child. It is Chris’ favorite all-time cake, and it is pretty much now my children’s favorite cake. Yellow cake with mocha frosting!
We also explored Battle Lake in Minnesota.
Upon departing Detroit Lakes, we headed north to Itasca State Park as we continued our northern tour of the state.
This is where the mighty Mississippi River begins.
Although putting our feet in the Headwaters was the main draw for us, we discovered that this park is beautiful. I would love to return one day and camp in Itasca State Park.
After exploring the Mississippi Headwaters and crossing this off of our bucket list, we headed over to Lake Superior to a tiny little campground near the Knife River, just north of Duluth, Minnesota. Although the campground was dilapidated, it was around the corner from a tiny beach that allowed fires on the sand.
Black grainy sand. Iron stained water. Gorgeous sunset
Lake Superior was so mysterious. It was like nothing I would of expected. It provided us with the most remarkable evening…one of my favorite memories of the entire year.
We sat around the campfire and talked…and giggled. Angie and Brendan foraged for kindling and created their own mini fire. They were enamored with it for hours.
There were three to four other fires down the beach…everyone seemed to be a local but us. I truly appreciated how they each gave the others their own space. There was a sort of beach code here, where everyone maintained respect and obtained from encroaching on the space of others.
Obviously, we were in Minnesota during the perfect time. The weather was warming up, but summer had yet to arrive with the crowds of visitors, so the campgrounds were nice and quiet. We discovered that not only is this land of lakes beautiful, but inviting and comfortable. Although we have family and friends from this state, we had never heard about how amazing it is…only how cold it is in the winter! Looking back over this lovely tour of northern Minnesota, reminds me of how much there is to discover in this beatiful country.
As we look over these photos, we should really sing…”hunting, fishing, lovin’ every day…” – ya know…that song by Luke Bryan?