Everything was right on track. Until I discovered my BIG mistake.
After a meet-up and stretch session in Uptown, our small crew of six WTFs was rolling at a leisurely pace from Minneapolis to Carver Lake Reserve for the 2017 Beginner Bike Camping Trip. Despite gray clouds, the rain was at bay, and the trail was awash in our music, conversation and laughter as we rode two abreast catching up with friends and making new connections.
Following in the footsteps of last year's organizers, we pulled off at the Excelsior library for our second and final (or so we thought) stop before the campground. But, as I munched on some carrots, I casually pulled out the campsite reservation to check which sites we had — and my stomach dropped.
I'd booked the wrong campground.
Yep! Organizer botches pretty much the one and only thing that's essential to the trip. My brain froze. Like many of you, I'm sure, I'm fully convinced that if I make one mistake people will hate me forever. I cringed as I told my fellow campers that I f*cked up... big time. The campground I had booked was another 13 miles away, on roads, in the direction of the quickly approaching storm.
Instead of anger and disappointment I was met with resilience. While our bodies were starting to fatigue, we lept right into problem solving. We called Carver and asked if they had any openings or a bike-in site; they said no. After checking in with how everyone felt, we decided to press on to Carver — and try to befriend folx at one of the group camp sites.
When I got a flat (because, OF COURSE, I would also get a flat), a couple of campers continued on to the site and made an exciting connection. An entire group camp section was occupied by the national convening of the Black Label Punks and a couple of their members, chilling by a camp fire next to a bunch of tall bikes, said we'd be welcome to snag a corner of their site — if we'd be willing to embrace any shenanigans that went down that night.
Needless to say, we were stoked.
But when our full crew rolled up, that offer was rescinded. A surly woman with a baby on her arm looked at us sideways and rallied a vote from the full group that they were NOT okay with six unfamiliar WTFs crashing their party.