Thirdeyemom

#SummerNotes: Cabin Life “Up North”

Minnesota is a beautiful place filled with gorgeous untouched nature and pristine beauty. This northern state is blessed with over 12,000 lakes, many of them undeveloped and remote. Given its high amount of lakes per relatively small population (entire state has about 5.4 million people), Minnesota has a significant cabin culture as family cabins have been passed down from generation to generation for years.

This past weekend, my daughter and I had the pleasure of experiencing a little bit of Minnesota cabin life “up north” as we like to call it, on one of the beautiful pristine lakes in the “The Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway“, a rustic slice of Northern Minnesota with over 1,000 lakes within the Chippewa National Forest. The cabin we stayed at is on Big Island Lake and about a four and a half hour drive northeast from Minneapolis where we live. There are plenty of cabins only an hour or two away from the Twin Cities, however, what I discovered is the further north and more remote you get, the more stunning, pristine beauty and peace you will find.

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

View from the cabin of Big Island Lake

Below is a photo of the last twenty miles or so to the cabin, along Scenic Byway 38 an incredibly windy narrow road lined with pine trees and lakes.

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I have been to many cabins over the years in Minnesota and what always amazes me is how different they feel. There are the old, rustic-style wood cabins without heat or running water. There are the log cabins built of huge pieces of wood, and over the last ten years or so a growing number of gigantic, house “cabins” which in my humble opinion are not cabins. I prefer the old-style ones, with the 1960s style decor consisting of a wood-burning stove, grandma style furniture, wallpaper, bunk beds for the kids and a pell-mell of inside decor. These are the cabins that remind me of my youth.

Life at the cabin means relaxation, rewinding, unplugging and spending time with family, friends and nature. No showers. Lots of bug spray. Swimming and jumping off the floating dock in the fresh, cool lake. Paddle boating, kayaking and listening to the loons. Exploring,  hiking and watching the birds. Playing cards, drinking beer and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Eating, sleeping, and laughing. The more remote it is, the more time you spend just hanging out. It is spectacular.

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

The best things about the cabin include watching the water turn pink and purple as the sun sets well past ten. Listening to the lonely, melodic cry of the loons (Minnesota’s state bird). Sleeping with the windows open and breathing in the fresh, pure air. Being awoken by a symphony of birds as the morning sun rises. The list is endless.

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Sunset paddle boat cruise.

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And of course, exploring new places.

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

Big Island Lake, Minnesota

It will never cease to amaze me how truly beautiful Minnesota is. I’m lucky to have it as my playground.

Stay tuned…more #SummerNotes coming soon!

22 comments

  1. In New England, we call it “camp” rather than “cabin” — and some can be pretty elaborate. Midwest native that I am, after nearly three decades here, I still can’t get used to the term — I expect a tent or maybe an RV. But the experience is the same — a family tradition, sometimes even a retirement home destination.
    How blessed you are in this opportunity.

  2. Your so lucky having that so close… Ilove the cabin life.. i never made it to Minnesota when I lived in the states was more based in Utah and around the Rockies. We have a similar lake district up north but nothing compared to is a cabins

    • Yes we are. Minnesota is filled with pristine nature and over 10,000 lakes. Even the city where I live has lakes everywhere and bald eagles right downtown! amazing!

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