Franz Jevne State Park


Parks & Geology

My favorite state parks are those that are obscure, hard to get to, and have less foot traffic. You’d be hard-pressed to find another that fits the bill as well as Franz Jevne State Park in Birchdale. The 118-acre park is located on the south banks of Rainy River (which demarks the Canada–United States border) […]

July 27, 2021

Dorset Chick’n Coop Restaurant and Bar


Food & Drink

When it comes to go-to dinner spots, Dorset Chick’n Coop Restaurant and Bar always fits the bill. The Coop is located in Dorset, a tiny community with a population of 22 just six miles east-northeast of Park Rapids and six miles west of Nevis. It is also located along the Heartland State Trail making it […]

July 10, 2021

The MinneSoda Fountain


Food & Drink

If you happen to find yourself on Main Street in Park Rapids, I highly recommend you stop at the MinneSoda Fountain, a few doors down from Revel Brewing. One part old-fashioned ice cream parlor and one part sub sandwich shop, once inside, the place will transport to the 1950s. Take a seat at one of […]

July 4, 2021

Lake Superior Helicopters


Entertainment, Events, Parks & Geology

If you love the North Shore, there is no better way to see it than from above. Lake Superior Helicopters opened in 2009 and allow you to see one of the largest tourist destinations in the midwest. I loved the experience, from the office staff to the pilot. Worth snagging a tour this summer. They […]

June 27, 2021

Outstate Brewing Company


Food & Drink

As I was looking for places to stop in Fergus Falls, I stumbled on Outstate Brewing Company. The entrance is unassuming as it is tucked away in an industrial area. Once inside the beautiful taproom, it’s hard to miss the giant, glass garage door to the patio that overlooks Otter Tail River Reservoir. After perusing […]

June 20, 2021

Historic Phelps Mill and County Park


Historical & Museum

The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is a unique time to explore areas that otherwise I may have missed. Enter, the Historic Phelps Mill and County Park. The beautifully preserved mill was initially built 1888–1889, along with a wooden dam, by William E. Thomas, a local entrepreneur who owned a flour and feed business in Fergus […]

June 16, 2021

Shoreline Restaurant, Bar & Bowl


Food & Drink

While I was in Ottertail County, I drove through Battle Lake just after a rain shower. As I rounded a corner through town, I caught a glimpse of a vibrant rainbow and had to stop to take a picture. After a few shutter clicks, I turned to find myself in the Shoreline Restaurant, Bar & […]

June 13, 2021

Maplewood State Park


Parks & Geology

I was lucky enough to stop at Maplewood State Park during the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. Located on the outskirts of Pelican Rapids in the heart of Ottertail County, this state park was created in the early 1960s as the hilly, lake-dotted terrain was better suited to recreation than to farming. The park is located […]

June 9, 2021

ABC Brewing Co. (Ashby Brewing Company)


Entertainment, Food & Drink

The next stop during the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener was ABC Brewing Co. (Ashby Brewing Company) in Battle Lake. Starting in Ashby and proclaiming themselves to be the smallest brewery in Minnesota, they offer rotating brews, indoor and outdoor seating, delicious, Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza, and live music. I picked through ABC’s staple beers include Triple-A, […]

June 6, 2021

Ottertail Bakery


Food & Drink

The Ottertail Bakery just off Hwy 78 is a must-stop if you are in the Ottertail area. Boasting “the best buns in town” as their tagline, locals also rave about the bakery’s turnovers, molasses cookies, maple frosted donuts, cinnamon rolls, caramel croissants, ding dongs, sourdough bread, Bismarcks – you name it, it likely has a […]

June 2, 2021

Glendalough State Park


Food & Drink

Home to one of the last large tracts of undeveloped lakeshore in western Minnesota, Glendalough State Park is just off the Otter Trail Scenic Byway in Battle Lake, Minnesota’s Otter Tail County. The park is filled with observation decks, picnic areas, a swimming beach, fishing piers, a trail center, a beautiful historic lodge, a paved […]

May 30, 2021

Lund Boats


Historical & Museum, Retail

One of the best parts about the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is that the host city or county invites you into areas that would otherwise not be as easily accessible to the general public.  Enter, a tour of the Lund Boat Factory in New York Mills. Lund Boats are a favorite in my family. My […]

May 26, 2021

Spanky’s Stone Hearth


Food & Drink

During my stay on the Oregon Trail in Vergas, I took the two-minute walk over to Josh’s other establishment; Spanky’s Stone Hearth. Don’t let the name fool you, this is an upscale, fine-dining, foodie paradise. Adding to my glamping experience, they offer hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and even an option to just let the chef […]

May 18, 2021

Rose Lake Glamping


Accomodations

This year, for the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, I had the opportunity to explore Ottertail County while staying in a noteworthy, refurbished covered wagon. Yes, you heard that right. Imagine Oregon-trail-meets-spacious-Airstream. Just off Highway 4 in Frazee, tucked into an unassuming lakeside neighborhood are Rose Lake Glamping’s two, huge, cozy glamourous Conestoga wagons. The wagons […]

May 18, 2021

Intermission


Personal

Long-time followers may have found me noticeably absent.   Around this time last year, as I scheduled summer trips, geared up for the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, and planned outings to share so that you too could get outside, we all watched as we were pleaded with to do the opposite – to stay home. […]

May 16, 2021

So Very Missed


Cemeteries & Graveyards

I have spent the better part of my adulthood as the writer in my family. This designation, while a privilege, is not without personal anguish. I have had the unique opportunity to tell others stories, write the congratulatory toasts, departing words, and put to paper heartaches that were not mine alone. If you have followed […]

December 6, 2020

John A. Latch State Park


Parks & Geology

If you are looking for a tough (but quick) hike in southern Minnesota, look no further than John A. Latsch State Park. Located just 12 miles northwest of Winona, the roadside park functions primarily as a wayside on U.S. Route 61, which runs between the Mississippi River and the base of three steep bluffs. The […]

October 5, 2020

Sunflowers and Bittersweet Luck


Parks & Geology

My grandfather is dying. They say six months if we’re lucky. I have known death all my life though this is the first time I have had advanced notice. Maybe it’s because I am his namesake. For whatever reason, I am allotted borrowed time. Time to ask him about every photo he has hanging on […]

August 25, 2020

Safari North Wildlife Park


Parks & Geology

When I was asked to check out the Safari North Wildlife Park in Brainerd, I jumped at the chance. First, I have spent my entire life passing through Brainerd and I had no idea something so cool would be hiding in plain sight (I mean, besides Paul and Babe), and second, I will look for […]

August 11, 2020

Mantrap Valley Conservation Club (MVCC)


Historical & Museum, Parks & Geology

Growing up in Minnesota, I spent most of my time in the Northwoods. My parents were adamant about safety, education, and conservation. We were required to take DNR courses on things like lawful hunting and fishing, and recreational vehicle and firearm safety. Enter, Mantrap Valley Conservation Club and Auxiliary. The MVCC is a favorite in […]

July 25, 2020