Two weeks ago my lovely wife, bratty puppy and I took a camping vacation in northern MN, and it was simply delightful.

We kicked our vacation off right at the Hopped Up Beer Festival at Caribou Highlands Lodge. What a fantastic event. The brewers brought their best beers. Among them was my all-time favorite: Vanilla Infused Cold Press Black on Nitro by Bent Paddle.

From there we went to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park where we braved nightly thunderstorms in our tiny tent.

Camping at Split Rock Lighthouse

Due to a cancellation we lucked into campsite 13 at Split Rock. It’s one of only two cart-in sites with a clear view of the lighthouse, and a lovely pebble beach is just a few steps down from the fire pit.

The Gunflint Trail & Seagull Lake

After our beautiful interlude we drove inland up the Gunflint Trail.

With our rented canoe from Seagull Outfitters we enjoyed short day trips into the gargantuan Seagull Lake. Our base camp was site 21 at Trail’s End Campground.

High on a rock over the lake the campsite didn’t provide much privacy, but it offered a stunning view. During our stay I swam with a loon, we zip lined through the trees at the Gunflint Lodge, and lazily read book after book while the sweltering heat crushed our motivation for adventure.

I finished three quick reads myself: Cannery RowShowboat World and The City of Dreaming Books.