A little over a year ago I went on my first ever bike camping trip. Not only was it my first time bike touring but it was also my first camping trip in years!
Was I nervous? A bit. My old sleeping bag had gobbled up an entire pannier, thunder storms had awoken me in the wee morning hours, and I’d accidentally loaded up my bike inside my apartment and was barely able to keep it from escaping me down the half flight of steps to the outside!
Was I excited? HECK YEAH! I was going on the Grease Rag WTF newbies’ Bike Camping Trip. I’d been wanting to try bike touring for a while and here was my chance to see what it was all about with a group of supportive, caring, and fun-loving WTFs.
Fast forward to this year. Had I become a bike camping fiend, logging miles near and far? Well…not really. But I did now have my own touring panniers, a new warmer and smaller sleeping bag, and some terrific pack lists. Even more importantly, last year's trip gave me the confidence and know-how to organize this year’s Grease Rag Beginner Camping trip. So on an early June afternoon, our crew – myself, my co-leader Luci, and eight bike camping rookies – set off on a small touring adventure.
Here we are at the Hopkin's Depot ready to roll on after a water, snack, and pee break.
And here we are taking a lunch break outside the Excelsior Library. (PS Across the trail is a tiny history museum that would love to have you stop in and say hi!)
After we got into camp, the sunshine took a rest for several rainy hours. Luckily we were able to set up our tents before it began raining in earnest.
There's nothing like an evening sunset after the rain!
Even though we'd forgotten our fire-starting kits, Frances came though with some dry sheets of newspaper. Thank goodness, roasting smores over a camp stove just wouldn't have felt the same!
The next morning, we headed back to Minneapolis.