By Brian G. Schommer “I’m so bored,” the sad young child their parent at the breakfast table. “There is nothing to do around this town,” they added. Have you heard this one before? You not …
By Brian G. Schommer
“I’m so bored,” the sad young child their parent at the breakfast table. “There is nothing to do around this town,” they added. Have you heard this one before? You not only have probably heard it, but there is a good possibility that you may have said it. The point is, we often attribute any boredom we are experiencing to be due to the lack of things to do. Fear not regular readers of Outdoor Adventures, you are about to have several activities shared with you that can help you get out of the doldrums of any boredom that you may be experiencing. These opportunities will also allow you to get outdoors and enjoy life a bit.
If you enjoy yardwork type activities, the Hastings Hawks Amateur Baseball organization is hosting the annual cleanup day at Veterans Athletic Complex on Saturday, April 17th beginning at 9:00am. Volunteers will be working on things like trimming, edging, raking, and dragging the field. Other areas of focus will be maintenance to the pitching mound and home plate, picking up litter that has found its way into the facility and more. This all-ages event is a fantastic family fun day opportunity. As an extra caveat, the Hawks provide pizza for the volunteers when the work is done and as English writer John Heywood is quoted, “many hands make light work.” More information can be gained by emailing [email protected] about this great way to get outdoors, support your community, help the environment, and relieve yourself from potential boredom.
If a park clean-up at Veterans Park sounds like too much work and does not trip your trigger, the Freedom Flight POW/MIA Hot Air Balloon will be on display at Calvary Christian Church, 907 West 15th Street in Hastings on Friday, April 30th with FREE tethering flights. The event starts at 7:00pm and is sponsored by local non-profit Foss and Swanson Veterans, which supports, serves, and recognizes all services members and veterans of all ages and eras. The focus of St. Cloud based Freedom Flight, Incorporated is to increase public awareness of the POW/MIA issue by using hot air balloons. The same type of event will be held on Saturday, May 1st in Prescott on the school district grounds behind the Old Ptaceks Event Center and on Sunday, May 2nd in Hampton behind the former Black Stallion restaurant. The Prescott and Hampton events also begin at 7:00pm. These events are open to everyone and again are excellent choices if you are seeking a family fun-day.
To steal a famous phrase from numerous infomercials selling all those “As Seen on TV” wares, “But wait, there’s more.” The Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park provides 515 acres of total awesomeness for just about any type of outdoor adventure you desire. There are hills aplenty, heavily wooded areas combined with a few clearings of field and prairie, 3.2 miles of trail and loads of wildlife. If you fancy yourself a photographer, even if your only camera is on your iPhone, the photo opportunities that exist are endless. You can even fish at Ravine Lake which is located within the park. For more information about the gem that is available at the south end of Cottage Grove, go to the Washington County website (co.washington.mn.us) and look for Cottage Grove Regional Park. You can also access information about several other Washington County parks that provide excellent outdoor adventure options. For readers in Hastings, the Dakota County website has an abundance of information regarding things to do. As a matter of fact, there is a tab titled “Things to Do” which lists an incredible number of diverse activities that are available to help escape boredom. Spring Lake Park Reserve, Miesville Ravine Park Reserve and even Lake Byllesby Regional Park are all within a short drive from Hastings. Pierce County readers… the same type of information can be found on your county website. It might not be the lack of things to do that creates boredom in our lives. Our boredom might just be “on us.”
There are people not afforded as many opportunities to get out and about, due to physical limitations and/or other circumstances. The Hastings Area Rotary Club’s “Cycling Without Age” program might be just what the doctor ordered. Hastings Rotarian Dr. Lon Peterson spearheaded the effort a couple years ago to bring CWA, an international program, to Hastings. It was a natural fit for the local Rotary club who now, due to the generosity of many have two “trishaws” in operation within the Hastings community. If you are unable to ride a bike any longer and still long to feel the wind in your hair, see nature from the perspective that the local trails offer and just enjoy life a bit… Cycling Without Age is for you. For more information contact Lon Peter- son at [email protected]; your chariot awaits. Additional information can be found on the Hastings Area Rotary Club’s website at www.hastingsrotarymn.com.
If you still believe that there is nothing to do, you are what my mother used to call, “one tough nut to crack.” We all know a few people who are so headstrong and hellbent that their beliefs, views, and opinions are right, and nothing will change their stance. If we are all being honest, we can all be that person from time to time. As much as a few will never allow themselves to be convinced that there are plenty of things to do for all ages; this columnist will probably never accept that and will remain adamant that there are ample opportunities of things to do. It will take opening your eyes, heart, and mind to get out and do something that might not trip your trigger (like volunteering to help clean up a ballpark even if you do not like baseball… gasp). Sometimes, a simple step out of the comfort zone lands us into a new territory that we find enjoyable. We will always have those tough nuts to crack in our lives and, we will be those nuts in the lives of others. The amount of importance and priority that we each place on something will always vary from one person to another. With the Minnesota and Wisconsin fishing openers nearing on the horizon, we all have that one friend who cannot think of anything other than fishing. Their family, friends, career and just about everything else has already taken a backburner to the annual walleye chase. They are busy making sure all their rods and reels are in tip-top operational condition, the tackle boxes are organized with their favorite crankbaits and lures quickly accessible and of course, the coolers are cleaned out and ready to be filled to the top with… fish? These tasks must be completed long before leaving for the honey hole too which, unless you are part of their official fishing party, is called Lake None of Your Business. One thing is for sure, you will not have to convince that person that there is nothing to do. As a bit of a precursor for upcoming outdoor adventures banter, the topic of fishing will be on the docket soon and I will be attempting to access some information from some area angling enthusiasts regarding their insights about the upcoming season. You might say that I will be fishing for some tips. Sorry, I just could not resist and with that… Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.