Back to the Earth: When it comes to after-death care and burials, green is the new black

It might not be the most pleasant topic to think about, but it is a part of life: we are all going to die. But how can we die better?  Many Americans are reflecting on this question and recognizing that their carbon footprint extends past death, shunning traditional burials in the process. Over half (53.8%) … [ Read more]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Chris Qualley

Chris Qualley is mostly your normal type of guy. Grew up in Lakeville, now lives in Otsego. A wife, four kids, and a puggle named Dolly. A solutions manager at St. Cloud Financial Credit Union, which isn’t the sort of job title that begs explanation from the people he meets. Recently organized a funeral for … [ Read more]

Curtain Call: Tipping the cap to Minnesota’s first Baseball Hall of Famer, Charles Albert Bender

The thing about Major League Baseball history is that there’s *a lot* of it. With much of it taking place in the part of the past that gets called “yore” and all the players and observers being completely dead for a while now, certain “firsts” are up for debate. For every one Mendoza Line (definitely … [ Read more]

Chips On Their Shoulders, Parks In Their Hearts

The cast of characters who created Minneapolis’ parks could be their own mutton-chopped version of “Parks and Recreation” There’s a lot of green in Minneapolis—6,800 acres of parks, to be exact. Fifteen percent of the city is parkland and 96 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Minneapolis’ 180 park properties have … [ Read more]

G.O.A.T. in MPLS: The two transcendent seasons of Elgin Baylor

In 1958, the once-proud Minneapolis Lakers, basketball’s original dynasty, the winners of five National Basketball Association championships, had fallen on hard times. The team was on the brink of bankruptcy, had the worst record in basketball, and didn’t even have their own arena. But their reward for falling lower than they’d ever fallen before was … [ Read more]

Mistaken Minnesota: The mapmaking errors that shaped our state’s landscape

It’s not hard to find Minnesota on a map. Drag your finger as far north as the continental United States goes. We are the one that looks like a bizarre “K.” So how is it that we live in a country with states that are tidy rectangles and squares, and then states that look like … [ Read more]

Life in the Woods: Three families go ‘Off the Grid’ in Northern Minnesota

Driving north toward the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, you’ll see towering evergreens, pristine lakes, and bountiful wildlife. What you might miss at first glance are the remote cabins and yurts where a few Minnesotans spend not just weeks or summers, but entire lives amongst the trees. Living off the grid means different things to … [ Read more]

From Zero to 629.4: Tackling the North Star Bicycle Race — Installation 2

When we last checked in, I was still training in the storage room staring at drywall, and we still had snow on the ground. Our weather has come a long way, and with the first days of summer under our belts, it’s time for another check up on training for the North Star Bicycle Race, … [ Read more]

Remote Minnesota: Five out-of-the-way trails and state parks to escape to this summer

Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of scenic attractions and wonders that are renowned across and beyond the Land of Sky Blue Waters. But for those amongst us seeking less-trodden trails, a host of options can be found across the North Star State. Some are hidden deep within Minnesota’s wilderness while others can be found … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Outdoor Guide

During the four glorious months that compose summer in the Midwest, the call of the wild echoes over the plains and through the river valleys, through the forests and along the lake shores, and into our hearts and minds.  For some, the call stokes the fires of adventure and self-reliance. It’s a chance to test … [ Read more]

Camp Fire: Over a century of bringing kids of all backgrounds into the great outdoors to discover their true natures

Catching a frog is something of a rite of passage at Camp Fire Minnesota. The wetlands at Tanadoona—the primary camp and nature-based learning property for the national youth development organization’s Minnesota branch—are teeming with the amphibians, and marketing director Kelly Abraham says that regardless of the kid’s age, background, and familiarity with nature, sooner or … [ Read more]

How To Boundary Waters: Minnesota’s favorite outdoor playground is open to all—with a bit of planning

There are few outdoor pleasures more classically Minnesotan than mounting an expedition to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and spending a few days on the lakes and under the stars. For all of its charms—outdoor beauty, campfire camaraderie, and the sweet, sweet “general lack of other people” key among them—it can be tough to … [ Read more]

5 Most Extreme Outdoor Activities to do in the Midwest

This article is a part of The Growler’s Outdoor Guide. Find more tips for outdoor adventure and dining here.  Thrill-seeking has become a traveling sport, with adrenaline junkies posting online from states out west and far-flung destinations across the world. While those places look incredible, why go through the hassle and expense of travel when … [ Read more]

How to Social Media Outside Without Ruining Everything: A step-by-step guide

This article is a part of The Growler’s Outdoor Guide. Find more tips for outdoor adventure and dining here.  You’ve got to hand it to her: Mother Nature is photogenic as hell. She knows her angles, doesn’t have a bad side, and looks flawless in every light. We should all be so lucky to have … [ Read more]

Game On: Virtual reality parlors transform the once-insular activity into a social experience

When most people think about virtual reality, they likely picture someone with a cardboard apparatus over their face and a phone hanging from the end. Or maybe a dark room where someone sits, alone, completely immersed in their video game experience. This is indeed VR, but only a very small sliver of it. But because … [ Read more]