The mere two-hour drive from Minnetonka to Clearwater Lake in Brainerd now seems like a breeze. However, we didn’t feel that way as kids. We piled into our Mitsubishi Montero with coloring books, tubs filled with a plethora of markers and crayons, blankets, pillows and snacks galore. It felt like we were driving across the country, but we didn’t care. We were headed to the cabin, the closest thing to heaven as far as we were concerned. Weekends were jam-packed with tubing, fishing, tree climbing and most of all: troublemaking.

Our parents thought we sought out mischief, but my sister, cousin and I truly believed mischief found us. (How our parents trust us with opening or closing the cabin today is mystifying.) I mean, they couldn’t honestly believe we tried to get Elle stuck in the tire swing, could they?

With the car packed up and smelling like wet dog, we were on our way home Sunday afternoon. Like clockwork, my sister and I were asleep faster than my dad could ask how the weekend was. It was perfect, just like always.



Tell us about your favorite hideout, be it a lakeside lodge or a primitive fire pit. E-mail your story along with photos to or submit online at Don’t forget your name, city of residence and the general vicinity of your cabin or campsite.