Northern State Mental Hospital

The ruins of Northern State Mental Hospital, what beauty and magic. This was my first visit as it's a bit further north than I normally travel, one of the best spots yet! This was once a thriving mini city with a lumber mill, quarry, steam plant, greenhouse, canning facilities, library, bakery, dairy, and 700-acre farm for growing vegetables and raising livestock. Opened as an overflow facility for Western State Mental Hospital in 1909, by the 1970s the hospital lost it's funding and closed. Now it is called the Northern State "Recreation Area." There are many well established trails around the property with the remaining buildings on full display. I was excited to see so much access to these derelict structures, climb and explore until your heart is content.

For being an abandoned mental hospital, i found the ruins peaceful, not eerie. There was beauty all around, nature reclaiming all, and the landscape was magnificent. I was dressed for a retirement party earlier in the day, so after grabbing Selena, i just slipped into some tennies and went!

I plan for a living. I organize so many details from day to day. So when I have time on the weekend, I'm now getting a kick out of not planing at all. I'm good at impulsive decision making (well, part tortured and prolonged decision making that will eventually turn into a quick last-minute resolution). I'm also tired of being the planner among friends. I tend to be the one who takes initiative when an idea is being tossed around and organize the date and meeting spot. It's exhausting, and I'm tired of it - so more spontaneous is the game now.

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