The second part of my Minnesota trip was spent mainly in Northern MN. My dad’s side of the family has some property up there in the middle of nowhere, a 160-acre plot of land.
We used to go up here every fall just to get away. There is no cell service, no telephone, and you can hardly hear anything else but the sounds of nature.
The leaves were just starting to turn, and the mix of greens, yellows, reds, and oranges was beautiful.
We call it “The Farm.”
It is drenched in history. My great great grandparents came over from Finland and homesteaded this land.
My great grandparents eventually took over the farm.
It was interesting to go through all of the old photos and to hear stories of when my dad spent time up here as a child. A little dose of history.
Below are photos of the wood-burning sauna (just so you all know, the proper way to pronounce it is “sow-na” not “saw-na”). It is built from hand-hewed logs with moss in between. There were originally no nails in the entire thing, though now some have been added to hold lights and such inside. At one point, the historical society wanted it but our family still uses it to this very day!
I took several walks through the woods, finding the sounds of the forest incredibly peaceful.
We also took the four-wheeler out to explore.
And we all had a good time setting up our own shooting range and getting in a little target practice.
We spent a couple of nights at the Farm and even though it stormed, I was happy we had the chance to go up there.
On our way home, we took a detour over to the North Shore so that I could visit the Temperance River, my memorial place for Fritz.
The water was crazy high, higher than I have ever seen it. My dad said he heard on the news that it was at “spring levels.”
The hike was beautiful, even if the trail was a bit slick. This is one of my top favorite places in the world.
We didn’t get to spend much time in this area other than hiking the trail and stopping for lunch. But it was totally worth it.
We got back home late Saturday. I was happy to have uninterrupted time with just my family for a while, but we all missed having Andy up there with us — it just didn’t feel the same without him.
Sunday was my final day in town. My sister and I met some friends at the Renaissance Festival and spent the day there.
I have always had a good time at Ren Fest, and we enjoyed it this year as well.
It was a beautiful day for the festival. My trip back gave me a little bit of every type of weather (how Minnesotan). Hot and humid, cool and rainy, sunny. It’s just like Minnesota to be like that, completely sporadic and unpredictable. I also got a good dose of mosquitoes — I definitely don’t miss that!
We had a final family dinner and then I said my goodbyes.
It was nice to go back for a visit. I have missed everyone a lot. I couldn’t help but make comparisons of our lives now versus then. Some things are better and some things are just different (I don’t necessarily want to use the word “worse”). Andy and I both hate the fact that we can’t come back to visit together, at least not at this time. We talked a lot about what the future will bring and what we should do next.
While I was gone, Andy was able to fix the generator on the motorhome!
It runs like a champ and I am excited that we will have a functioning generator for when we get back on the road. Onward and upward!