Well, I have to say it's been an interesting experiment. There are several things I learned, and several that I reaffirmed were true.
The first thing I learned was that camping alone is not for wimps. The amenities of the campgrounds I picked were not nearly as important to me as were the number and types of campers with whom I would be surrounding myself. There is safety in numbers. It took courage to put down my guard long enough as to actually fall asleep in a tent in a strange place. Perhaps that vulnerability will fade as I get more camping nights under my belt.
The second thing I learned: my favorite part of the trip was that, except for the times I was in the car driving or cowering, I was outside. I consider being in a tent still being outside. Even though under a shelter I was not completely out of the elements. The sounds are the same, the temperature and air are the same. In other words, I was essentially still outside! Both times I ate at restaurants I ate outside on a deck or patio. In the time I was gone, from 9 am on Thursday morning until 4 pm on Saturday, (about 64 hours), I think I was outside for 50 of those hours. Living in Minnesota means months of inside living with our nearly 7 months of winter a year. I have seen the cows leaping for joy after being let out of the barn after a long winter.
It felt like that.
Thirdly, I enjoyed the people. This reaffirmed my memory of how fun it was to camp. When folks are camping, they are not in their normal surroundings. That means they don't have all their friends with them, so they reach out to others, and seem friendlier somehow. Also, they have more time to visit. Campgrounds are places where striking up a conversation with a fellow camper is easy to do. I find people's stories endlessly interesting and entertaining.
The beauty of God's creation was everywhere. As I soaked in the beauty of that part of Wisconsin, I was thirsty to see more of the world. What marvelous things are the work of His hands. I felt spiritually restored as I read God's word surrounded by God's world.
It was a marvelous trip. Thanks to all of you who went along the journey with me. Oh, and I did make it to Iowa and had a great time.
Out of all these people ......
I got this close........