A couple months ago we made friends with Chad and Kandace Hyland, and like us, they love to travel and explore. It seemed like a friendship made in heaven. After our second time hanging out, we had already planned three adventures. Two of those involve football, BYU, and the month of November but you will have to stay posted for what those will be. The third adventure was to drive down south to Winona, MN; home of the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the nearby Whitewater State Park.
One afternoon, we all got off from our jobs early to drive the three hours south to Winona. We had tickets to see Twelfth Night, my favorite Shakespearean play. The GRSF is not quite as large as the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah, but the show was very well done and we laughed and laughed. After the play we drove through the darkness to our campground, set up our tents, and fell asleep in our cozy sleeping bags.
Waking up the next morning, it was chilly! We did not come prepared for the cool weather. The forecast had read warm and sunny for the weekend. You can imagine our disappointment when it started to rain. We decided to make the best of it and just enjoy our day. We made breakfast and then decided to go into Winona to explore until the weather improved.
The weather never did improve that day but we made the most out of it. We drove up in the bluffs to a look over the Mississippi river (the closest thing to mountains that we have seen in Minnesota), checked out the Blowdow Bakery to get delicious doughnuts, and then decided to walk around the main streets of town. Winona is small, but a fun little town with cute shops to explore. My favorite being a quaint used book store where Kyle and I picked out a few 50 cent novels.
When it got to the point where there wasn’t much else to explore, we drove back through the farms and hills to our campsite. Again, it was raining but not hard enough that we couldn’t enjoy being outside. The guys went fishing and Kandace and I stayed back to make the masterpiece of the night, tinfoil dinners. It got more cold as the sun went down and we became progressively more grateful we had lots of firewood. In addition to the warmth, it also allowed us to make biscuits and s’mores. Yum!
The next morning I woke up in a puddle. It had rained a good portion of the night and our tent had a leak. Thankfully, the sun had also decided to come out so I was able to warm up. The rain had also dampened the rest of our gear so we had to spread it out and wait for it to dry off. While we waited, we took a short hike up to a lookout on the bluffs and to see Chimney Rock. After dealing with the cold and rain, we were very grateful for good weather and enjoyed our hike.
Though it was short, we loved our trip with the Hylands and look forward to our next adventures. We are so grateful that we have such wonderful friends here and for the beautiful nature that we get to explore.