I first visited Minnesota a year ago to celebrate my friend Natsumi’s birthday. This year again, I jumped on the wagon and bought a weekend airfare to celebrate one of my favorite people in the world. Contrary to past visits and last year’s celebration, this year we both decided to  break away from the city life and venture up north of the state.

Being lovers of the outdoors, we both set out to explore state parks along the north shore through an all-day hiking. We did our homework before leaving, and looked up some parks which peaked our interest, with room to improvise as we saw fit. We stocked up on road trip snacks and essentials at a gas station in Minneapolis, before hitting the road. We talked (a lot), we listened to (plenty of) music, we ooh-ed and aah-ed at the foliage and the wilderness around us. It was such a beautiful sight to be seen, and such a peaceful ride. We reminisced on our last road trip (which dates to our college years), revisiting all the fun and mishaps we’d experienced. We also wondered what we would take away from this trip, as well as what song would become the theme of this journey.

We drove along the North Shore Scenic route, which is really just that - a long drive along the shoreline, offering a scenic view of the world’s largest freshwater lake, as well as of fantastic fall-color tinted wilderness. The route starts at Canal Park in Duluth, MN - roughly two hours from Minneapolis. We ended up pulling aside along the shoreline in order to capture some of the beauty before venturing into the state parks set on our agenda.

The sun was bright, the air was crisp, our spirits lifted and we could not hide our excitement at the things we would see and the paths we would take.

This was such a great gateaway!

Come back this week for more outdoors adventures and scenic views!

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