Minnesota understates the case when it calls itself Land of 10,000 Lakes. The state has 11,842 lakes 10 acres or larger. I have been on one of them, Lake Esquagamah, a reservoir about 145 miles north of Minneapolis.
I was visiting my friend Anne-Marie, who lives in Minneapolis and wanted to give me a taste of the real Minnesota.
A friend had loaned her the use of his cabin. It had no indoor plumbing, which for me, is the definition of roughing it. It was October, turning cold, and the cabin was unheated. The morning chill made us sluggish, and the sun was long up when we crept out of our sleeping bags, took the flashlight and examined every crevice in the outhouse before using it.
We took a small rowboat out on Lake Esquagamah and fished for sunfish and crappies, but since we had gotten started late, we never got a nibble. It didn't matter. It was a glorious day, brisk and bright, and both of us reverted to the tomboys we had been in junior high school when we met. We didn't mind the worm slime on our hands, the muck on our shoes or our sunburned cheeks. This was lots more fun than the Mall of America, which we visited on another trip.
I had gotten my taste of the real Minnesota. The taste of pan-fried freshly caught fish -- well, that would have to come another time.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.