Giddy on the high that was Grand Teton, we headed north into America’s first and most visited national park: Yellowstone.
Truthfully, Yellowstone is everything you have ever heard about and more. It is epic, vast, and otherworldly. There are times when you honestly believe you must be on another planet. For example, Mammoth Hot Springs felt like we were on the set of a post apocalyptic, sci-fi movie. We tried to imagine what the first people who explored this land must have thought. The indigenous people considered the land sacred. And it is said that when white explorers returned to their homes with tales of what they had seen, no one believed their stories of boiling mud pits and explosions of water and steam erupting from the very earth. This is in no way surprising.
When Logan and I were married in the fall of 2018, our original plan was to honeymoon in Italy in the spring of 2019. But as spring rolled around, we found ourselves still reeling from all the major life changes that occurred in 2018. So, we decided to postpone our honeymoon for a year. Then of course came COVID-19 and international travel became a no-go for the foreseeable future.
As the horn blasted and everyone took off running, my main thought was: “Shit! I have to pee already!”
Just minutes prior, as I had entered the starting corral after what I thought would be a brilliantly timed bathroom visit, I had semi-jokingly declared that this was going to happen. I either know myself too well or this was the worst kind of self actualization.
Too late to analyze my strategic failings now because, after months of training and years of delays, I was running the Twin Cities Marathon.
With COVID-19 came the cancellation of almost all of our planned adventures in 2020. California? Cancelled. Canada? Cancelled. Walt Disney World? Cancelled. That last one hurt the most. Partly because it was to be my first ever WDW experience, but also because it was planned almost a year in advance for February (right about now). The moment we grudgingly and mournfully pulled the plug on that trip it finally sunk in that we would be in this pandemic for the long haul.
I have now been camping three times and am officially a fan! I still maintain the fundamental need for toilets and running water, but as long as I have some version of that, I’m confident I will survive the excursion.
In keeping with what we hope will become an annual tradition, we embarked on another Labor Day weekend camping trip with our dear friends, Ruthann and Dan – and this time, River tagged along as well. This year, we explored Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, and Cascade River State Park between Lutsen and Grand Marais on the North Shore.
Truthfully, it could be a while before our official honeymoon becomes a reality, so Logan and I planned an April, three-day “Mini-moon” to Duluth, Minnesota to coincide with Logan’s running in the annual Fitger’s 5K race. Here some highlights from our weekend getaway!