When the opportunity presented itself one beautiful summer day, we decided we had to get out camping. Of course, it always seems like when we want to go on an adventure, something happens to prevent it. This time it was car problems. Both of our cars were having issues that would stop us from driving into the great outdoors, but we were determined to make our trip happen. We decided which car would be easiest to fix, and then rushed it into the shop, got it repaired, and then were on our way. All the stress caused by the cars was soon forgotten as we arrived at Great River Bluffs State Park. We were rewarded by a beautiful campsite, ideal weather, and some time to just relax by the fire. S’mores and tinfoil dinners were included. Ah… bliss.
The next morning, after breaking in our new camping stove (a birthday gift from my parents – thank you!), Kyle and I took off on a hike around the many State Park trails. The bright blue, cloudless sky and cool morning air was invigorating as we walked along. At one point, we were so ingrained in our peaceful hike that we almost stepped on a huge Timber Rattlesnake. Thankfully he gave us a warning rattle, giving us time to jump back. Once we had backed up enough, the snake went back to sunning himself on the path, allowing me time to put on my telephoto lens to get some shots. Don’t worry, I was quite a ways away when I took the above pictures.
Our trip down South was also prompted by another event going on in Winona, the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Having gone last year, we were eager to see another well done play, and grab some dinner in town (which turned out to be rather disgusting). There was also a music festival going on near the river which allowed us to sit back under the shade of a tree and listen to the bands play. This year, our chosen play was the Merry Wives of Windsor, and we lucked out with tickets as it was closing night. We laughed until our sides were sore, and then laughed some more.
The next morning, as we drove home, we couldn’t help but smile. Even though our car continued to have problems that seemed to get worse as the trip went on, we had been on a delightfully fun weekend road trip. As such, we felt like we could quote one of the lines from the play. Just like Sir John Falstaff said, “As good luck would have it” (Act III, Scene V), we were still able to get away.