Winter Weekends // Chisholm and McCarthy Beach State Park

I just wanted to get out of the city.

I was feeling the winter blues, back busy at work after a long and fulfilling holiday, and I was ready for another adventure.

Then the coolest Airbnb popped up on my search, and I didn’t think twice. 

These are the winter weekends I love writing about, because Minnesota isn’t know for much else in the winter except the cold. But the cold can lead to some fantastic adventures.

This hand-built log cabin up near Chisholm was the perfect getaway for my friends and I – some old and some new.

An old board game left under the coffee table, the Ultimate Survival Game, was fitting to start our weekend. We struggled for hours to get the fire going – the only source of heat – going into a -25 degree night. But, the sun was so bright the next day. It made the negative temps bearable and beyond enjoyable as we ventured out in snowshoes across the property.

That night, we ventured into the nearest town to try a local restaurant and brewery (because you know I can’t pass up a local beer). The next day, the sun was still shining, brighter than ever… and the negative temps still didn’t stop us from exploring. We ventured to McCarthy Beach State Park, where we found a beautiful trail at Pickerel Lake to explore.

We made endless jokes about the outhouse. We burned what felt like hundreds of logs of firewood. We stopped each night to look up at the stars and the moon and take in how quiet it was – not like the busy streets of Uptown we were used to. Maybe it was just the feeling of being in nature, but the stars and sun were shining the brightest I had seen them in the longest time.

While my toes were numb and I watched my breath float across the air as I laughed, I knew I could never live in a place where I wouldn’t experience all four seasons. One way or another, I think I was designed to see and feel and hug and capture the beauty in each season, no matter how extreme. That’s why I don’t hesitate to jump in to new places… no expectations, feeling whatever it is I feel, learning some life lessons, laughing a little harder and getting outside of my daily routine.

Thankful for a refreshing weekend exploring a new part of Minnesota, and a wonderful group of friends to do it with.

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