I have returned from my trip "Up North" to the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota. Being born and raised in Minneapolis, I've noticed that it's common for metro families to go anywhere north of the city limits in the summer and indulge in the 80 degree weather. Mostly because our weather is unbearable 75% of the year.
("Oh, it's negative 15 degrees outside? Don't be late for school!")
For those who aren't familiar with Minnesota's geography (it's o.k.), the Gunflint Trail is located in the "arrowhead" of Minnesota, a.k.a. almost Canada. Please, let this VERY ACCURATE map that I made help you.
This first post is going to be about NATURE and digging deep into your subconscious (trippppy). My second post will share my thrifting adventures and purchases. For all of my video watchers, a two-parter video series will be coming your way on Sunday, so keep a look out.
(Both photos above: Duluth, Minnesota rest stop/overlook)
Ah, Up North. A place where people actually look down on you if you use your cell phone. My dad and I caught a break by spending 5 days out in the wilderwood - plumbing not included. I popped in multiple Pearl Jam CDs (while my dad shifted uncomfortably during Eddie's hardcore and MANLY screams) while embarking on our 7 hour drive. It's interesting up here for sure. You have the hippies, the yuppies, old nice democrats, and future tea party members (I'm talking about you - Bachmann).
(Twin Peaks-esque grocery store in Grand Marais)
(Kendall's Smoke House on the highway up Lake Superior, christened by the one and only Andrew Zimmern - from the Travel Channel's show Bizarre Foods" )
I'm not going to lie. As the years have progressed, I've found myself becoming more of a "city girl" despite my roots. The real challenge here was not having the internet for 5 days. First world problems, truly. But really, I finished three books while staying up at our family/friend's cabin and I still found myself stir crazy. Yet after staying up here, I firmly believe in internet cleanses. When I came back and checked on all of my social media pages, I got this weird mind induced high. I became so much more grateful for ALL of your support - especially to the comments on my blog (shout out to y'all!).
(Walleye fish and chips, YUM)
(Every blogger's worst nightmare)
Being without internet, without cell service, and without friends is ROUGH. But I learned more about myself. I know I sound totally new age but I realized how much the above has affected me throughout the years. As mentioned before in some of my posts, sometimes I get in these ruts. I find myself becoming horribly stagnant and bored, even though I could be doing so many creative and interesting things. I don't want to throw out the mental illness card, but anyone who has ever suffered from depression knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It sucks. It sucks because you can't even keep track of your own thoughts long enough to make progress. Being away from things that distract you FORCES you to be introspective. This trip honestly put things into perspective for me - school, Youtube, activism, etc.
It's incredible how when you tune out from all of your distractions, you start to notice the little things. Like a grasshopper blending into a pile of leaves, a changing leaf, or INCREDIBLY CUTE MUSHROOMS THAT YOU VERY WELL COULD HAVE STEPPED ON. We stayed on the Gunflint Trail, which is an area that sadly isn't unfamiliar to wild fires. It's a downer to see some of the burned out areas, but on the other hand - nature doesn't wait to fix itself, it just DOES. (deeeep)
You don't have to travel 4,000 miles to get some peace of mind. If you are reading this right now, and you have been frustrated for a long time - GO OUTSIDE. And I don't mean that in a judgmental-parent way. I mean it in a friend-to-friend way. Go to your library, or a thrift store. Acquire books by or about people who interest you. Learn from them. And don't just think deeply for 2 minutes and then hop on Tumblr, get yourself a journal and write that shit down so you remember how good it feels to do something more with your brain then let it fizzle via pixels.
(This reminds me v. much of my childhood/my brother. I'd gladly drive this car around town.)
(Both photos above are from Cascade River/Falls)
It's not easy. To be too honest, I worry that I might slip into one of my ruts again. I'm worried that I'll get too comfortable and not experience the unfamiliar because of conveniences sake or anxiety. With that being said, I think I'm going to give myself mini internet breaks. If I ever find myself on the internet NOT being productive or NOT being inspired, like Lizzie -I'm outie. Queue the cliché, but life is too short to be stagnant. Even if the risks become greater when you venture out, at least you'll have the memories that you actually DID something with your time on this beautiful earth.
Stay tuned for my thrifting post and haul, coming TOMORROW!
Keep it cool,