We live in Los Angeles and have never been to Minnesota. We're thinking about flying to Minneapolis in mid-July and doing a road trip of about 10 days that would take in the North Shore, Grand Marais, etc. We like some spontaneity and don't want to be locked into being in a specific place at a specific time. Is it absolutely necessary to make lodging reservations in advance, if we want to stay in chain motels/inns in this area? We need cell service to keep up with business at home, so the more remote lodges (i.e. Gunflint Trail) aren't realistic for us.