Yes. Real live sleeping in a tent, outdoor, cooking over a fire camping.
Which I had never really done before.
We decided on Winona, MN (Great River State Park) because Ryan is doing Trinona in a few weeks and he wanted to have a preview of the course. Anyone riding the Olympic course has their work cut out. There is a VICIOUS hill.
So on Friday morning, we loaded up the car and dropped the dog off with our good friend Pasta Jesus and made our trek down to Winona.
In the rain.
Oh, did I forget to mention that part? The part where it was supposed to rain the entire day, and then turn into snow overnight? The part where words like "record low temperatures" had been tossed around the forecast? Yeah. Awesome.
On Friday, we rolled into our campsite. Nay, we sloshed into our campsite. Threw down a tarp and tried to set up a tent that neither of us had ever seen before in the middle of an icy downpour. Tried to snap together rods and tie rainflaps and zip zippers with frozen fingers. I might have cried a little bit.
Do you know what causes 90% of relationships to fail? PUTTING UP TENTS IN THE RAIN.
But we got up the tent and it didn't leak (and we didn't kill each other). We piled in our stuff and made a little nest for ourselves. I? Am not a camper, therefore I don't pack like a camper.
Sturdy, rainproof shoes? Bueller? Bueller?
Down comforter? Check. What? I wanted to be comfy!
So, I didn't pack like a camper, but it's a damn good thing I brought that comforter...because it got down into the low 30s Friday night.
And our sleeping bags zip together, so we were quite cozy.
Saturday was much better. The rain mainly cleared and though it was overcast and chilly (and it also SNOWED a little bit), we were able to enjoy the day. We went for a few hikes, we headed into Winona (and warmed up in a coffee shop while drinking coffee), we ate "real" food, we ran the Trinona course, and that night we were able to build up a fire to make dinner and smores.
Sunday, luckily, was glorious. We woke up to the sun beating against the side of the tent and it was a bright and sunshine day. We headed back to Winona and Ryan rode the beast of a bike course (and tackled the hill three times!!) while I ran. We did more hiking and enjoyed the scenic overlooks.
So do I love camping? Wellllll...love is an awfully strong word. I wouldn't say I LOVE camping...but I'll definitely do it again. As long as it's not raining.