Thursday’s Telegraph Herald will feature another in our occasional series of special, single-topic magazines. Unlike its predecessors the past couple of years, which have told you about something — from arts and architecture, to the Mighty Mississippi to our rich Irish and German heritage — this week’s publication might, hopefully, inspire you to do something.
Tri-State Recreation will focus on many — but not all — of the recreational opportunities available to us in this region. In most cases, the articles will present the activity by introducing you to a friend or neighbors who is a practitioner.
In many of the articles, we’ll point you in the right direction if you’d like to learn more or give the activity a try — in other words, to do something. But even if you have no interest in rock climbing, mountain biking or riding a zipline, you might at least be interested in reading about those who do. After all, we know that TH readers enjoy travel articles about places they never plan to visit and study the house plans for homes they will never build.
While editing Tri-State Recreation and sending it off for advance printing, we noticed some patterns and themes, which we invite you to keep in mind as you page through the magazine.
• A little physical activity through recreation goes a long way toward improved physical and mental health. Based on numerous studies, as well as interviews with local experts, it’s clear that the benefits from relatively few minutes and relatively limited exertion are so significant, compared to the time and sweat investment, it’s incredible.
• Experiencing a new recreational activity is not making a lifelong commitment. There are plenty of opportunities to give it a try without spending a lot of (or any) money. Would-be snowboarders and bicyclists, for example, have opportunities to borrow equipment.
• Whatever the activity, there are adherents ready and willing to help you learn and experience it. In interview after interview, for virtually every recreational pursuit, sources encouraged “newbies” to reach out to them or their organizations. They love what they do, and they are excited to share it with others.
To that end, many adherents encourage newbies to connect with a group. Some activities can be done alone, but hooking up with a group helps with enjoyment, safety and even commitment.
• Last but certainly not least, the tri-state area is genuinely blessed with beautiful and challenging venues for recreation. Whether it’s the Mississippi or Kickapoo rivers, county and state parks, or the rolling rural roads of the region, enthusiasts have their pick of places in which they may enjoy their activities.
We were particularly struck by how many pursuits are practiced in Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. Running, hiking, biking, bird-watching, kayaking and canoeing. We’ve long known it is a gem, right on the edge of Dubuque, but this week’s magazine helps put Mines of Spain’s status as a tri-state treasure in clearer focus.
The tri-state area is fortunate to have friendly and enthusiastic advocates for various recreational pursuits, and for places to put them into practice. Let’s add that to our list of blessings.