Amongst the pine trees and lakes of northern Minnesota, you often hear the term "Up North". It has become a destination and a term to describe a region and way of life, I am going "Up North".
It does not have to be just northern Minnesota. "Up North" can be northern Wisconsin or anywhere you can find a magical summertime destination.
What happens "Up North"? Why do people crowd the highways and interstates on Friday afternoons all summer long to get there? Why do the same people come home late on Sunday and fight the same traffic back to their homes? What happens up there that is so special and worth all the trouble?
The truth is sometimes nothing happens. Absolutely and utterly nothing. You can feel the warm sun and solitude as you lie on a hammock and listen to the loons call out. Time slows down, the worries seem less and the busy schedule seems distant and less important. It is a reset button of sorts and allows a much needed respite from our everyday life.
Sometimes a boat or pontoon ride is the prescription for that day which is equally effective at creating the "Up North" solitude. There is something magical about cruising the shorelines of a northern Minnesota lake. Of course we are Minnesotans so we wave at every boat and everyone on shore, almost like we are in some sort of boat parade.
Other times you have a weekend with family and friends that you never want to end. From barbecues, boat rides, skiing, swimming, fishing, and golfing. The night usually ends with a campfire and stories of days gone by. Funny thing is many of the good stories from the past were about times spent "Up North".
Next time you see everyone headed "Up North", remember a time you went and smile because you know they are going to have a good time. They may be going to do absolutely nothing or they may be spending the weekend fishing, boating and forgetting sunscreen. Forget your lists, drop the schedule and prepare to find peace and quiet.
See you Sunday night in traffic!