I love Minnesota in the summer. I love it most of the year, but summer is really something special. In Minneapolis, we're flush with easy access to nature - parks, lakes, trails. But sometimes, you've got to get out of the city.
For the past few years, Grease Rag has been hosting bike camping trips for WTFs to get out and explore on bikes. This year, a group of 10 positive people headed east to William O'Brien State Park along the St. Croix River.
We were a mix of experienced bike campers and newbies, musicians, climbers, and adventurers. Some old friends, others meeting new folks for the first time. The thing we had in common was a willingness to sign up for a camping trip advertised as not necessarily the easiest trip. It was going to be a longer and hillier bike ride than in years past.
But 10 people still showed up on Saturday morning! We rolled as a group through Minneapolis and St. Paul to the Gateway trail, which lead us to Square Lake. Then just a few more miles, one big downhill into the river valley and back up again to the park.
We swam in the lake to wash off the sweat and grit. We built a fire, shared our enormous spread of food, and rewarded ourselves for a long, hard day. Natalie brought along a guitar and taught us camp songs. Low packed a pie maker and fed us desserts all night and breakfast in the morning. We tried out new camping gear, shared our favorite discoveries, and bonded over adventure stories.
Despite the heavy rains over night, we woke to sunshine and more camp songs. We packed up camp and headed back with smiles. The few mishaps and mechanicals on our route proved to be excellent skill share opportunities, thanks to the Grease Rag team work spirit. Even the thunderstorms that met us half way home couldn't dampen our camping afterglow.