“Northern Minnesota Waterways” By Chad Robert Parker

Minnesota is beautiful! There are trees, hills, and lakes. Lots of lakes. More lakes than you can imagine. I have a portrait on my wall with the glowing embers of a fire at the side of a canoe-in campground. It’s almost magical! The memories of lake camping are equally magical to me.

My family loved picking a lake to visit for a weekend trip, camping nearby, boating, swimming, and fishing. Some lakes were better than others. Leech lake was aptly named. Yuck! Around Duluth was always cold. Always! You may think, of course it is, Minnesota is a winter wonderland. Visit once during the summer. You will be surprised. The rather private settings are full of hidden gems. The fear of cold keeps most away. Even up North there are four distinct seasons, however, and it gets plenty warm. Believe it or not, some days are hot and humid. On those days, farther North is ideal. You can relax to a warm evening amidst the sweet smell of pine forests.

On one camping trip a photographer was taking pictures for a book about Northern Minnesota’s roadways. He was capturing shots to show off the beauty of some less traveled areas. He asked if he could include a picture of my older brother, who was just playing around in the lake, looking like Huck Finn, while standing on a raft we had taken all morning to lash together from fallen logs. We obliged like roadies getting some limelight. Then we played the rest of the day on our raft. I miss those days on Minnesota waterways.