On a recent week-long camping trip to Minnesota, Kevin and I decided to challenge ourselves by biking everyday. The bike paths were actually old railway lines and the paths connect to several little towns in the area. The path most physically challenging is all uphill to Fountain, MN. Six and a half miles. Uphill. We did this five of the days we were there. I really felt a sense of accomplishment each time we made it to the top. The ride down was the reward.

The bike paths, the river that weaves around the campsite and good friends makes it a very enjoyable place to visit.

Before we left to go to the campground our friend texted us advising that we should make reservations already for next year, 2022. Usually we wait until we are done camping and make reservations before we leave the campsite.

By the time we were ready to leave the campground we also had 2023 reserved but we were not able to get our same spots because the spots were unfortunately taken already. Our friends had friends that told them “You’d better get to the office and make reservations fast because they are going quick.” We’ve never had to reserve two years out.

I then asked the reservationist if 2024 is ready for reservations but they didn’t have that schedule ready yet. That was a relief.

The pandemic has played such a nasty trick on everyone, pushing us past the norms of our simple, ordinary, stable lives.

Being advised to wear masks, stay six feet apart and strongly urged to get a shot in the arm that a person might or might not agree with, has left people wanting to leave it all behind, just get away, whether by boat, camper, kayak, etc.

Reservations are harder to come by. Boats and campers are made only if you pay for them first and then you have to wait for them to be made.

On our way to ride the tubes on the river we were stopped by a couple asking where to get kayaks and tubes because they were nowhere to be found.

People are so thirsty for togetherness and getting with family and friends, I don’t mind the extra work it takes to make our vacation fun.

Its great to see the reunions of friends and family, see their happiness while playing games, grilling out, sharing stories or just out for an adventure.

People need interaction with others. It’s human nature to be close with the ones you love for celebratory events in our lives and also to support and help family, friends and strangers through crises.

“Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.”—Galatians 6:2.

Debbie Nibbelink is an editorial assistant at the Sioux Center News. She may be reached at dnibbelink@nwestiowa.com.