It seems as though everyone in Minnesota either has a "cabin," or knows someone who does. (I grew up in Wisconsin . . . while in WI we do go "upnorth," people rarely own cabins -- renting is much more common.) I learned, my first few years living in Minnesota, that "cabin" didn't necessarily mean what I thought it did, (rustic, wood-paneled house in the middle of the woods, totally isolated, possibly on a lake,) but rather, "cabin" could mean a house north of the cities in a small town, a house on a lake, anything! Imagine my disappointment, the first time I went to a friend's "cabin" in college!
Anyhow, Dan and I rented a cabin at Wild River State Park this weekend, and had what I would call a "true" cabin experience! Check it out:
VERY rustic, eh? We had heat and electricity, bunk beds with mattresses, and a small table with two benches . . . and that was it! No showers, short walk to the outdoor latrine, and the kitchen?
What kitchen? This just means we had to be resourceful. We had to bring in all of our water, (including water for washing dishes,) and there was no cooking allowed in cabins, except for Crock Pots and "coffee pots," whatever that meant. I figured "coffee pot" included "electric teakettle," right? :) So we had plenty of hot tea and coffee, snacks like fruit, Chile-Lime Peanuts, and brownies:
(Impulsively, I discovered that brownies made with coconut oil instead of butter are FANTASTIC!!!)
And had simple meals, like Smoky Split Pea Soup with Cheese Muffins:
And instant oatmeal with sliced banana:
More importantly, this trip really wasn't about the food. Even though I can rarely pass up the opportunity to prepare a healthy, filling meal for us while on the road, our focus was definitely on doing STUFF, instead of cooking and eating! We read the paper, attempted the crossword puzzle, had a late-night campfire in the bitter cold, played Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, lost ourselves in our books, and rented cross-country skis for both fantastic exercise and beautiful scenery:
We had so much fun this weekend, we're talking seriously about repeating this trip sometime next month!
If you live in/near MN, I HIGHLY recommend the cabins available for rent at MN State Parks! They are rustic, and do require a (short) cold walk to go potty, but the cabins themselves are gorgeous, well-maintained, affordable, and just what you need for a simple night/weekend away from "real life." :)
I'm so glad we've discovered a way to "camp" in the winter! Wahoo!