For a long time now my friends and I have been planning to go camping someplace in Decorah. Yesterday, we finally got the chance to do so. We checked out camping equipment from Recreational Services, which provided the equipments to us for free. There is an online reservation form on the Luther website that allowed us to do so. There were six of us who went camping—so two of my friends planned out where the campsite was going to be. We had dinner in the Caf and then bought some food to cook in the middle of night along with some snacks.
By 7:00 pm, we were ready to get going. We got to our destination after about 20 minutes of driving. Then, we took all the camping gear out of the car and hiked for another 15 minutes up the hill to our campground. I only then found out the campground we'd be spending the night at was Pulpit Rock (I used to only think that it was the name of a coffee shop in Decorah). You would not believe the view from on top of the hill.
It was breathtaking. We were a little late to watch the sunset but we were still able to see bits of the sun going down out on the horizon. Purple, orange, and blue hues dashed the skies accompanied by silhouettes of hills and trees from our view. I knew immediately I was going to miss this experience once I returned home for the summer. The best thing about this campsite is that there is absolutely no trash in the area, and the nature around it is preserved so well the campsite seems almost like a forest no one has ever been to before. While waiting for our other friends to hike up the hill, we started a bonfire. It was reasonably convenient for us to build one since there were a lot of dry branches around due to the recent weather in Decorah. In fact, there was also a fire pit for campers to build a bonfire in which made the process a whole lot easier.
When everyone arrived, we sat around the bonfire wrapped in our blankets. We wanted to make noodles and stew, but someone forgot to bring the pot so we only had chips and Coke to munch on that evening. It wasn’t too bad though. That evening, the weather was in our favor. Even though there was a soft breeze, the weather was warm enough where we only had to wear a thin layer of clothing. We spent the night playing games like 2 lies 1 truth, sharing a part of our life experiences back at home, talking about things and issues at school, etc. When it was finally 1:00 in the morning, we set up our tent for the night. It was getting colder and I thought I was going to freeze and not sleep for the whole night. However, it turned out to be warmer than I expected when all of us got into the tent! We set out mats and each took a sleeping bag then all cuddled together—I became so warm I had to take off my hoodie!
The next morning, sadly, we didn’t have the energy to brave the chills and watch the sunrise. It was really cold outside, but still bearable. The morning would’ve been better if we had tea and some biscuits to munch on, but we were going to head back anyway. One of us went down to bike back and get a car; the rest of us just talked for awhile in the tent, packed everything up later on, and cleaned up the campground.
This is one of the closest times I got to nature in Decorah. I wished I had gone out more often for these activities back then in the fall, but I’m glad I was able to check off most of the outdoor activities I wanted to do on my list before summer.