• Rachel Voge

Camping in MN

My sister and I traveled to Arizona a couple winters ago in a desperate need for warmth and sunshine and man did we find it! We had 2 missions on this trip. Find a great trail to hike and sit by a pool. Day one we got up early and drove to a mountain before a big crowd of people came and started our hike.

The weather was amazing. Warm with a slight crisp in the air. The hike was not too extensive and the views were amazing. The sound and feeling of dirt under my shoes was so earthy and refreshing. The rest of the trip I don’t think we left the pool side.

To this day I dream about the hike. I crave dirt under my feet, warm breeze, sunshine, winding around a trail curious to where it’s taking me.

Andy and I live in Minnesota where this type of weather is only about 4-5 months of the year if we are lucky. It’s crazy cold most of the time and when it’s above 40˚ we are outside, coats off, acting like summer is around the corner until the next day it snows 6+ inches. And yes it has happened…more than once!

I particularly craved and day dreamed about that hike in Arizona the week we found out about Andy's cancer diagnosis. I not only craved the warmth because it was January at the time but I craved getting away. Everything inside of me wanted to run the opposite direction and escape what life was throwing at us. I longed to get away and pretend that everything was normal again and my mind went straight to that particular hike.

Days leading up to Andy's surgery we would day dream about taking road trips, hiking and camping at different state parks once it warmed up. We talked about it a lot and I believe it was a way of us coping with what we were facing. It gave us a chance to get out of the darkness of our minds and think about something that made us joyful. It was a way for us to escape.

A couple weeks after Andy’s surgery we decided to make the day dream of escaping a reality and book as many campsites in MN as we could for the summer. In the back of my mind I was a little hesitant because we didn’t know what the near future was going to hold. Recovery was suppose to take 3-4 months and we didn’t know what that was going looked like and if traveling was going to be possible. But the desire to escape and travel was so strong in both of us that we decided to lean into it.

If it were my choice I would have booked the entire summer to escape but Andy keeps telling me that we need to keep our jobs…lame! 🙂 So here is our list of places we are escaping to throughout the summer.

  • Sibley State Park

  • St. Croix State Park

  • Grand Marais

  • White Water State Park

  • Spirit Mountain

  • Temperance River State Park

  • Wild Rive State Park

Cheers to escaping and being present during the summer. We can’t wait to explore and share our adventures with you!

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