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Minnesota Cabin Culture

By Edited Jul 19, 2015 1 0

A weekend at the cabin - to Minnesotans, there isn't much that sounds better. The state which is dubbed "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" lives up to it's namesake, and during the summer months, docks and watercraft are scattered statewide across the millions of otherwise quiet feet of lakeshore, prepared to provide cabin owners with endless opportunities for fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.

Everyone who grows up in Minnesota either owns a cabin, or knows a family who does. In fact, cabins are such a staple of Minnesotans' culture, that it is strange for us to realize that there are numerous states and countries whose citizens do not own cabins, and sometimes, do not even understand exactly what cabin culture is.

When traveling abroad it is common to find families who own villas, but these are simply smaller vacation homes. Foreigners view these villas similarly to the way Minnesotans view their cabins; however, they also find it strange that we would ever own two "homes", one in town, and one at the lake.

This is the major difference between villas and cabins, as cabins can be quite large and often referred to as "lake homes". In fact, many individuals in Minnesota only consider those structures which are rustic, simplistic (one or two bedrooms, one floor), and provide water access to be true cabins, while those which have many bed rooms, multiple watercraft, television, and an immense array of recreational toys to choose from are considered lake homes.

Despite the differences between cabins and lake homes, all Minnesotans will agree that enjoying time off at the lake is second to none. There is something about finishing work on Friday and driving to the cabin that not only allows you to distance yourself from the every day stressors and challenges of work, but eventually forget about these problems completely - they will await your return to civilization.

Until that return, it is time to enjoy the relaxed cabin life. An alarm isn't necessary, because at the cabin time is forgotten. Most wake up earlier than normal, acknowledging that cabin time is precious. Pancake breakfasts kickstart the day. Swimming, biking, golfing, and waterskiing provide a daily dose of exercise and activity, while grilling and cookouts provide a plethoral of delicious meal choices. Evenings are spent leisurely touring the lake on the family pontoon boat or telling stories around a lakeside fire pit late into the night.

Even if poor weather hits, the cabin is still a wonderful getaway. Lazy afternoons of napping and board games are inevitable. Cribbage or poker tournaments are also common. If it is impossible to go outside for a fire, why not bring the fire inside? Many cabins have exquisite stone fireplaces, allowing the warmth and comfort of a fire to greet you, regardless of the outdoor conditions.

With numerous options for the entire family to enjoy, and a much shorter summer than winter, it is easy to understand why Minnesotans cherish their cabins.

The only event that is guaranteed to disappoint you time and time again is when you must pack the car on Sunday evening to return to the city for yet another Monday morning at work.

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