Family time in Minnesota’s North Woods

At the beginning of August I flew home to see my family in Minnesota. Every summer we make a point of getting the entire immediate family up to my parent’s cabin, a place we frequently visited in the summer growing up. My family still visits it all summer, but I can only make it up once a year because of my residence here in California. 🙂 It’s literally my favorite place on Earth. There’s no road access, you have to boat across the lake. No wifi, cell reception, or electricity. My parents bought a few solar panels in the last five years so those help us out quite a bit. Before that it was strictly propane. All this is to say it’s very removed from society and is an oasis when you’re looking to unplug and enjoy some time in nature.

These photos are far from perfect, but they’re honest. And that’s why I love them. They’re filled with genuine emotion and an authentic experience. No one is dressed up, that’s not who my family is. My family is a t-shirt and jeans kind of family (or t-shirt and sweatpants, let’s be honest). Worn out baseball hats, free MN State Fair sunglasses, old college t-shirts, hand me downs, hand me overs, cool thrift shop finds. We never really got family photos taken growing up, but thankfully we have drawers upon drawers filled with old disposable camera prints from our childhood. That’s what I want my future kids to have, tangible memories they can dig through in one reliable location. Blog posts are helpful, too. 🙂 But a print pack is in order for my favorites from this cabin visit.

In a nutshell, a cabin visit consists of cheese and crackers for happy hour, dog hair galore, sheet covered couches and mismatched bedsheets, saunas, hot tubs, fishing outings, jumping off the pontoon in the middle of the lake, board games, fresh food, cliff jumping, playing fetch with the dogs, swimming, chopping and hauling woods, reading, pumping water, doing dishes, cleaning fish, and lots of naps. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ll let the photos tell the story now. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post where you can find a link to my family’s cabin visit two years ago. <3 (I was lazy and didn’t make a post from last year, hahaha.)

Photo of my nephew on the porch at the cabin in Northern Minnesota taken by Skyler Maire Photography.
My adorable nephew. He’s quite the talker.
Photo of my family on the porch at the cabin in Northern Minnesota taken by Skyler Maire Photography.
Photos of crackers and cheese, dogs waiting to be let in at the cabin in Northern Minnesota taken by Skyler Maire Photography.
Crackers and cheese, dogs waiting to be let in.
Crying onion cutting board. We’ve had that hanging there since I can remember.
My sister brought up 3 mantises she raised. We caught flies and skeeters to feed them.
Love this shot!
My ridiculously adorable nephews.
Mom doing some dishes.
Cabin scenes.
My sister caught a garter snake. She actually caught several but I only had the camera on me this one time.
Puppy chow!!! *drool*
Typical cabin scenes.
Fishing time! We went out a handful of times and had wild success twice. We must have caught over 10 fish big enough to save both times. Large and smallmouth bass. We cleaned ’em and enjoyed them for breakfast one morning.
Heating up the sauna and hopping in the hot tub. Heading to the lake to fetch some dish water.
A devoted Burris. Mom and Dad enjoying the “hottub.”
The light was pretty epic this one particular evening.
Gassing up the wave rider.
Cleaning fish. Even I cleaned a few! I’m not great at it but I (personally) feel better about consuming fish when I know I have the strength to clean it myself. I like to thank the fish and then quickly kill it before cutting into them. (Everyone in my family feels bad about killing fish and tries to do it in the quickest, most ethical way.)
Rinsing the fillets.
Hahahah, my parents took some of the excess fish guts and laid them out on a solo rock out in the water. We wanted to see what kinds of birds and other animals would come and get them. We saw vultures and my sister even spotted an otter swimming back and forth in front of our cabin one afternoon! (Probably grabbing the fish off of the rock and taking it home.)
Nap time and puzzles.
I played with double exposure while up there. It was pretty fun!
Hahah, selfies with my nephew.
Dinner time. Ribs and corn on the cob.
Pontoon time! Time to jump in the middle of the lake!
Dad’s always singing. 🙂
Notice Pi dog in the water swimming straight for my dad as he jumps in! Pi is a WATER DOG. He is often the first one in the water and will jump right on top of you after you jump in.
We played Pictionary on two different nights while up there. Who knows how old this version of Pictionary is. We used pieces from Midnight Party (know that game?) to mark our spots on the board, hahahaha. All this is to say, we had a LOT of fun.
My mother is an artist. Every one of her drawings are so detailed, even when drawn with chunky chalk on an ancient chalkboard.
The sky was something else this night. The clouds were absolutely magnificent.
Water baby 🙂
One of my favorite pictures ever.
This one too. <3
The porch is a central hangout spot. We probably spend most of our days right here.
Chutes and ladders. Puzzles.
More double exposure fun.
Crummy Seth. 🙂
Dish duty and stoking the sauna fire.
Curiosities and double exposure play.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also love:

Kroschel Family in Northern Minnesota

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August 25, 2022

  1. Whitney says:


  2. Megan Lescarbeau says:

    Sky, this was absolutely so fun and so precious to see your family vacation! You captured it so beautifully. Cady and Berta’s boys have gotten so big! They are darling, it makes me realize that I need to get down to the cities to see everyone! Thanks for sharing your photos. Love you!! Aunt Megan ❤️

  3. Berta says:

    Absolutely stunning photos and amazing storytelling! 🥰

  4. Cady says:

    These are so beautiful! Thank you, Skyler!
    Your work really expresses the much needed escape, and the comfort of sneaking off the grid, even if only for a few days. 🥰

    I like playing Chutes & Ladders. 🙂

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