Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Minnesota

State 21:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is


Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. The capital is St. Paul.

Our first visit to Minnesota can be described in one word – SNOW. It started snowing shortly after we left Wisconsin one morning in early April. As we traveled west on I-90  we crossed the Mississippi River into Minnesota with the wind blowing snow horizontally across the interstate. It was so bad we pulled off the interstate and spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express in Winona. I will be forever grateful to the kind employees who put us up in a downstairs room with our Labrador Retriever. There was a restaurant in the hotel and they even had an indoor pool so we were roughing it in style.

Crossing the Mississipi River to Minnesota in a snow storm
Snowing over the Mississippi River
Terrifying icy road conditions in Minnesota – at times we couldn’t even see the road
Icy trees beside the interstate
Icy trees beside the interstate
Overnight Camping at a Holiday Inn Express

The next morning the hotel let us have a late check out so we could wait until the roads were safe enough for travel. Later that day we checked into Blue Mounds State Park and we were the only campers in the park. With snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing the water was turned off and the dump station wasn’t operating. It was a great adventure!

Camping in the snow at Blue Mounds State Park

20070413MN-(6)The weather was much better on our other visits to Minnesota. During our stay at Temperance River State Park on the Minnesota North Shore we enjoyed wandering around Split Rock Lighthouse and on the huge boulders beside Lake Superior.

Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore
Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota’s North Shore
Minnesota’s North Shore
Island in Lake Superior on MInnesota's North Shore
Island in Lake Superior on MInnesota’s North Shore
Minnesota North Shore

20100606Minnesota-North-Shore-(89)We loved visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park so much we camped there twice.

Mississippi River Headwaters in Itasca State Park
Mississippi River Headwaters in Itasca State Park
Walking across the headwaters of the Mississippi River
Mighty Mississippi River near the headwaters
The mighty Mississippi River near the headwaters
Walking across the Mississippi River near the headwaters
Walking across the Mississippi River near the headwaters
Sunset over Lake Itasca
Sunset over Lake Itasca

We made several visits to the St. Paul area to visit family. While there we visited the Mall of America and the Minnesota Arboretum.

A trip to the Spam Museum and the Green Giant Statue were on our bucket list as we traveled through Minnesota.

Some of the wildflowers and wildlife we found in Minnesota.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan

17 thoughts on “Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Minnesota

  1. I am beginning to think that some of us will need to see more snow in order to visit places without a million other tourist. The high season is certainly expanding much wider. Glad you were able to get off the road during that snow. Smart move:)


  2. We used to vacation in northern MN (north of Grand Marais) and even in mid July I occasionally needed my winter coat. Bathing suit one day – winter coat the next – always an adventure in our tent! Love the shore along Lake Superior. Ah yes, fond memories 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Happy the post brought back good memories for you. We loved the shore along Lake Superior, too. It’s one of many places we’ve been that we would have never discovered if we didn’t have our fifth wheel.

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  3. I love Blondie checking out the mighty Mississippi! We were similarly stranded in a snowstorm in Georgia in 1989 when we were driving to Florida for Christmas. The bridges in Jacksonville were closed, so everyone on I-95 was forced to find a hotel. We got the last room in a Ramada Inn (with our dog), people were sleeping on the floor of the lobby, and the hotel’s Chinese restaurant was totally overwhelmed. We will always remember that trip.

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      1. It was quite a storm. When we got to my in-law’s house in central Florida, they were without power for days. We had to cook Christmas dinner on the barbeque.

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        1. A Christmas you will never forget! We had to drive to St. Simons on the day it was snowing for our Christmas with my in-laws. Bridges on I95 were closed so we had to get off the interstate and go through Darien. It took us forever and we wouldn’t have done it if we hadn’t had a four wheel drive Bronco at the time. When we arrived they had power and didn’t experience as much snow as we did.

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