Explore, escape outdoors

Ben Sadkowski/News Editor

With beautiful weather knocking more and more frequently on my door like an insistent neighborhood friend, I find it impossible not to accept its offer to go out and play. After yet another difficult Iowa winter, taking advantage of the opportunity to ride a bicycle or to explore the woods again takes priority over most other demands in my life, if only for a brief, blissful moment. The feeling of being “stuck in Cedar Falls” is unjustified, for the opportunities that lie just outside of our homes are nearly boundless.

Take the simple bicycle, for example. Here in Cedar Falls we are fortunate to have access to a plethora of parks and bike trails that weave in and out of town for miles. The simple effort of getting on your bike and going in whichever direction you please can end up as a well-spent afternoon in which you gain the benefits of both exercise and escapism. Additionally, nearby lakes offer canoeing and kayaking options that give you exactly what biking does, with the added benefit of being essentially unreachable by those on land.

But another option is to take to the road. If you have perhaps taken the initiative and all ready explored the nature Cedar Falls offers—and you have the luxury of time—then a car is the next best escape plan. Just three hours north of us lie the Twin Cities with fantastic neighborhoods to explore, full of all manner of shops and restaurants. Even closer lies Iowa City, offering a great deal of bookstores that require browsing and an absolutely fantastic food co-op offering all manners of organic and natural foods. Regardless of whichever route you choose to take, there also exist the opportunities for detours into parks and fields; even exploring back roads could lead to an unexpected discovery and could subsequently transform your perception of where exploration and fun exist.

So enjoy these pleasures, all that is required of you is the gumption to go out. With multitudes of media outlets vying for our attention, we become faced with the challenge to either experience things for ourselves or to view them through a pattern of pixels. It is one thing to look at photographs or to watch videos of people doing interesting and fun things, it is drastically another to choose to take the role of the catalyst, not the observer.

So, I challenge you all to emerge from your sluggish ways and go forth.

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