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Filtering by Tag: Red Wing Heritage

Camp Wandawega.

Erik Engstrom

The Great Outdoors either barfed all over me or I spent the weekend at Camp Wandawega. You decide.

Amongst the woods of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, there’s a plot of land that seems trapped decades ago. Camp Wandawega. A cultural hotspot for hipsters and photographers alike to come and experience the time capsule that is the Camp.

This past weekend I had the pleasure to venture to Wisconsin with a group of good friends. While we were there for business, it’s too hard not to play. Hatches were thrown, coffee was made, canoes were put into the water, and I almost got frostbite. Or I think I almost did.

During our time at Wandawega, nostalgic memories of summer camp infiltrated my mind: fishing off the dock, campfires & s’mores, and sneaking out late to kiss a girl. Don’t tell my parents I did that.

David & Tereasa (innkeepers/owners) have captured vignettes of yesteryears that satisfies all generations. My grandparents would host 'Cousins Camp’ at their cabin in northern Minnesota and their aesthetic was just as appealing and delightful as Wandawega. They’d be proud to see this camp. But also, those young twenty-some, city-living hipsters are happy to leave the skylines for this bright, Wes Anderson-like vibe. It’s no wonder why this is an Instagrammer’s dream.

While at Camp, I couldn’t help but feel the overwhelming sense of ‘cozy.’ It could be the reminders of my childhood or the fact that the Camp made me feel like a kid again. I felt alive and myself. Animated to have fun and energetic all day long. Just like summer camp.

I was sad to say toodles to the precious camp, but happy I left my pillow behind. Fortunately, I could spend an hour chatting with David & Tereasa. They shared more treasures about the property. My weekend just scratched at the surface of what Wandawega has. I’ll have to come back.

Sign me up for next summer!


let all you do be done in love.

Early Morning Paddle.

Erik Engstrom

I'm an early riser. As the sun makes its way to the sky above our heads, I am usually starting my day. Like any sane person, I enjoy a cup of coffee and venture into the rest of my day. I am not one to over complicate mornings. I don't need the stress of picking which outfit to wear. I don't even check the weather to plan accordingly. And yes, I have made giant mistakes with wearing sweaters on days that it is 80 degrees out. 

Today was not one of those days. 

As any other day, I arose before dawn and prepared for a little scouting. My friend Merritt and I enjoy exploring the Mississippi River. We are drawn to places with rich history, beautiful sites, and a vibrant wildlife. So, as everyone lays asleep in bed, Merritt and I canoed the Mississippi River. Merritt works over at Sanborn Canoe Company and we were so fortunate to grab a Prospector canoe for the trip. 

Amongst the abandoned back waters, Merritt and I were amazed at the mystifying landscapes. The Mississippi River in Southeast Minnesota is a strange and under appreciated sector of American outdoors. It's beauty and deep American roots can be found when paddling the waters. 

Just in our morning we were able to make simple, yet life giving memories. We'd watch loons dive deep into the waters, storm clouds stretch across the sky, and a beaver searching the river. I can easily forget how enchanting this place can be. But once I start seeing with my eyes open again, I'm filled with wonder. I'm just waiting for a dinosaur to roar across the bluffs. Seriously, this place looks just like Jurassic Park!

Sanborn Canoe is an American brand with roots that run as deep as the Mississippi. What began as a project building a canoe for a Boundary Waters tripped quickly took a turn to selling some of the best canoes and paddles in the business. Not only are they beautiful, they are high quality. If you make your way to Southeast Minnesota, I encourage you to stop by the shop and say hi to the guys. 

Merritt and I were ever grateful exploring the waters. We even made it back to shore before those storm clouds turned to actual storms. 


Photography: Merritt Ogren & Erik Engstrom 

Spring Layers.

Erik Engstrom

I love styling layers. The Winter's brisk air makes layering an easy task. However, come springtime it's not that easy. Especially when you live in Minnesota. One week can be perfect 50 degree weather and the next day a snowstorm can hit instantly. I'll trade my layers for a paid vacation to the Caribbean any day. 

However, I live in bipolar Minnesota. I haven't been able to put away my winter jackets just yet. And the days it is warm, I tend to need a jacket by nightfall. 

So here are a few tips for bipolar Spring (especially for you Midwesterners). 

  1. Light tops - Your body needs to breathe! Put away your flannels and fold up those itchy wool sweaters. This is not the season for those tops. Pick fabrics that are light. Don't have too many bells and whistles on your clothing. Keep it simple. I picked up this Oxford from Gap the other month just for Spring. It really comes in handy on those hot, steamy days. Roll up the sleeves and feel the breeze. Pairing it with a light blazer (from J.Crew) is a perfect combination. 
  2. The jacket - This is the tricky one. Find a jacket that can combat any weather. My Orvis jacket is excellent for those chilly nights by a bonfire, running through the April showers, and light enough when leaving the house. 
  3. No comfy clothes - I know it's simple for people (especially Midwesterners) to fall into the trap of sweatpants, yoga pants, and a sweatshirt. Just because it's cold doesn't mean you need to change your entire aesthetic. Mama Engstrom would not approve. Neither does your love interest. You know she loves when you look good and dressed up. So keep her happy. 


Shop the Look:

Orvis Barn Coat
Gap Oxford Shirt
Gap Clean Khakis
J.Crew Chore Blazer
Red Wing Heritage Classic Mocs

Photography: Jed Cranor