They say you can’t go back.
Sometimes you can.
For Jake, this was his first trip back to Fargo since we lived there eight years ago. I’ve returned a couple of times since. Fargo was our home for two years, the first of several job transfers and first time away from home. Well, home-home. Our original home.
At first, I hated living in Fargo. Everything was different and felt smaller. There was that little toll bridge I kept finding at and train tracks that criss-crossed the city. By the end of our two years, we made good friends and found our favorite places. Leaving felt bittersweet.
Disclosure: The Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreational Area and The Drive In Restaurant portions of this post has been sponsored by the St. Croix Valley. We paid for our own meals at The Vegetarian.
Spending a day at an aerial challenge course is not something I would have ever chosen to do on my own.
Earlier this spring, the St. Croix Valley invited me to visit the area, sending me a package of gift certificates and brochures to provide trip ideas.
One of the items provided tickets to try the aerial challenge courses or zipline tours at Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreational Area which functions as a ski resort in the winter.
I invited two friends to try the Aerial Challenge Courses at Trollhaugen. The course consists of over 100 platforms arranged in six courses ranging in five difficulty levels. Two of us were less comfortable with heights while the other was not bothered.
Because of the time it takes to gear up and learn how to use the equipment, guests should make reservations. Each admission fee includes three hours on the course. Reservations also ensure that the courses don’t become overcrowded. We arrived for the first tour slot at 10 a.m.
Castle Danger sounds scarier than it really is.
This very pleasant brewery is located on Lake Superior in the small town of Two Harbors along scenic highway 61.
Of the few breweries we’ve visited between Duluth and Two Harbors, this is our favorite. Jake enjoys the IPA’s and like the nitro stout.
Castle Danger doesn’t serve food (except for chips and salsa) but that’s ok. You can order from local restaurants. Or, you can bring your own.
If you’re heading to Castle Danger from Duluth, stop at Northern Waters Smokehaus, first. Our favorite thing to order are the smoked fish boxes. Simply order whatever portion of smoked fish you would, and they will add saltine crackers and scallion cream cheese.
It took me one visit to love Duluth. Even in February, when the winds hurl sub-zero winds from across the lake.
In February, we felt like we had the lake to ourselves. In the summers you have to share.
Last weekend we headed 2.5 hours north back to Duluth. A mere 2.5 hours north, I-35 takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. As the hills open up and you reach the port you’ll feel like you’ve different world.
There was a blues music festival down in the open park by the aquarium, bringing lots of visitors to the area. Canadian wildfires north cast a sort of sleepy haze over the lake.
Neither of us grew up with a family cabin.
As we’ve moved back to our home state, I’ve a deep longing to make up for 34 years of cabin life.
I never felt this longing before. Friends would tell me they were “going up North.” I generally knew where Up North was, but didn’t really know what they did.
In hindsight, I get why my folks didn’t want to own a cabin. Still, I’m intrigued by cabin life and feel drawn towards Northern Minnesota.
Our friends graciously invited us to their family cabin for a weekend.