Definition: Up North

Let the pilgrimage begin

Up North

noun: ahp noorth

Minnesotans have compasses in our hearts and magnetic filings in our blood that guide us toward our own true north, be it Ely, Brainerd, Bemidji, Duluth, or Grand Marais. We are like Monarch butterflies—patterned in buffalo plaid. Or like sandhill cranes—wearing Vikings jerseys and cargo shorts. We all stream along the I-35 corridor in our big-butted SUVs jammed with fishing rods and coolers full of Summit and Surly. We like to boast that we’re the land of 10,000 lakes, but we could just as easily be known as the state of 10 billion cabins. Soon, the cell signal will get spotty. Soon, our hands will curl around canoe paddles. Soon, campfires will crackle, and the loons will cry out on the water. And we will spend our days exhausting our bodies and emptying our minds as we embrace summer.