Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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cabin fever cure

Cure for cabin fever

I usually do not suffer from cabin fever. I am on the go year round and winter is usually busier than the summer for me. Between cross-country skiing and a couple of trips to the Caribbean the last couple of years, I have found December through March to be more hectic than even summer or fall.

Minnesota cabin

Minnesota northwoods cabin

This year though has been an exception.  Thanks to a very meager snow season in Chicago, there have been  many weekends where I languished wishing there was snow or even something good to watch on the TV.  Often times I have driven north to Wisconsin, but I cannot drive every weekend to my northern neighbor, so there have been a few weekends this year where I have been a hermit at home and symptoms of cabin fever ensued.

We all know the symptoms.  They include excessive liking on Facebok and Instagram, watching the Golden State Warriors play the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night NBA basketball because it is on, and an obsession with google analytics.

Cabin fever Minnesota

Minnesota northwods cabin with a thick coat of snow

I knew it was time to break from this routine and my participation in the 40th running of the American Birkebeiner cross country ski marathon was the perfect time to do it.  I decided to head up to our family cabin on the Gunflint Trail in northern Minnesota and get some skiing and training in before the marathon.

I read somewhere where Cook County, Minnesota has the most groomed cross-country ski trails in the country.   After driving up here I believe it as the sign for the little brown man skiing was omnipotent on the way up Highway 61 and the Gunflint Trail.

Cook County Minnesotat skiing

Ham Lake Ski Trail along the Gunflint Trail in Cook County, Minnesota

Our cabin is at the end of the Gunflint Trail across a lake from the road. We are on a peninsula, but there is no road that leads to our cabin.  I arrived around 5 p.m. and skied over to the cabin to turn on the power and heat and get the sled.

I then proceeded to ski back and forth in the dark with all my provisions for a week across a snow covered lake in freezing temperatures.  If you had to ski across a frozen lake with all your stuff, what would you take first?


Cabin fever Minnesota

The essentials go across on the first run

Here is a guide in case you need suggestions.  For me the first trip consisted of beer, wine, my good friend Johnny Walker the Communist, a guitar, and since I had some extra room I brought some food and water.

The next four days will consist of skiing the Cook County Minnesota trails, reading, and sitting in front of the fireplace and having a cocktail or beer.   There is over two feet of snow on the ground, so the drive up here was definitely worth it.

Cabin fever Minnesota

Even inside it is hard to suffer from cabin fever in a place like this

I can also tell you what I will not be doing the next four days.  I will not be liking on Facebook, I will not be tweeting or instagramming*, and I will not watch a lick of television.  Who would have thought a cabin would be the cure for cabin fever.

Minnesota northwoods cabin

The cabin lit up at night


Minnesota northwoods cabin

The scenery out the cabin door

*A neighboring cabin does have wi-fi, so I may get a like or tweet or two in but not an excessive amount.  Speaking of my neighbor, Voyageur Canoe Outfitter rents cabins and they are just around the corner from us.  If you would like to stay in a remote area far from the city where there is epic cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing, check out their website.  Thank you Voyageur for the use of your wi-fi and helping me get this post out.


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