The Great Outdoors

emma machell

    Spring is on its way, the warmer weather getting rid of the chill in even the coldest of classrooms. Without those bulky winter coats and the constant need to be next to a heater, its the perfect time to take advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer.

1. Take a Hike
    This is not meant to offend any readers, it literally means just go take a hike. With spring weather melting all the remaining snow and blossoming all the frozen flowers taking a hike in the wilderness of a local park like the George Latham Trail by Clinton Lake or, if the drive is worth it, take a drive down to a park in a nearby town like the Table Mound National Park in Independence, Missouri or the Scenic Overlook Trail in Emporia. Don’t forget to take some precautions, beware red plants with three leaves and invite that special someone you’ve been meaning to hang out with.

2. Toss Me the Frisbee
    Both fans of golf and Frisbee can get together for a good time in any park. Frisbee Golf combines the two sports in one game relivFhat keeps the players constantly moving. This is a perfect game to play in the warmer weather of spring, whether for the feeling of being victorious over your opponent or just for the pure fun of it. Parks in the area that offer specific courses include Centennial Park and the Clinton State Park. The only setback is if people want to play the game they’ll have to bring their own supplies.
   
3. I Want to Ride My Bicycle
    While ‘Bicycle Race’ by Queen is a good song, that’s not only what this spring outdoor activity is about. What’s a better way to show up for that hike than riding a bike to it? Better yet, rent a two-seater from the Sunflower Outdoor and Bike on Mass St. or Cycle Works on Kasold Dr, that way a couple can share the memories. Riding a bike around town instead of driving around in a car spewing toxic chemicals helps keep those pounds off and the environment nice.

4. Make a Splash at the Lake
    Since the snow has made it impossible to hang out at the lake, springtime is the perfect time to grab a few friends and head down to Clinton Lake to take some well deserved time off from the stress of school. Hang out on the beach, make a sand castle, get a tan, or rent a boat and go boating. Don’t forget to take some sunscreen or your day of fun might turn into a day of pain complete with lobster-red skin and unwanted moles.

5. Soap it Up, Your Car That Is
    Winter is a tough time on cars. Sand from the roads and grit from the other cars can ruin your car’s paint job and cost you a wad of cash. Spring is the perfect time to grab some soap and water and wash away all that dirt. Don’t use any dish soap or laundry detergent, they will remove any wax and eventually they will damage the car’s clear coat, instead use a specific car soap like Mr. Clean’s AutoDry Car Wash Soap. After all that grime has been washed away, it may be surprising what can be found underneath.

6. Let’s Have a Picnic (or a Barbecue)
    Been craving some PB&J’s or maybe some barbecue? There is nothing better than a picnic or a back yard barbecue. Have a party, invite tons of people and tell them to bring something to keep costs down. Crank up some tunes and party until the sun comes down. With good food, good music and good friends this simple backyard barbecue or picnic will quickly evolve into something that could make your spring ten times better than usual. For more picnic or barbecue ideas check out the story on page eight.

7. If Life Gives You Lemons…
    Make a Lemonade stand. It’s something seen in almost every commercial advertising toward children. Think about it, making a lemonade stand actually sounds like a lot of fun. Time spent with friends, laughing and making jokes for as long as possible and you might make some money. If business is slow, pour a glass for everyone involved and sit back and watch the cars drive by.

8. Let’s Go For a Walk
    Exercise is essential and especially in spring after a tough winter that leaves everyone a few pounds heavier. Everyone including their canine companions. When the sun finally comes out and melts away all the snow taking a walk with man’s best friend will help get rid of those extra few pounds on both Fido and his owner. However if a household is lacking in a canine companion don’t worry, take a walk with a friend who has a dog or just take a walk with a friend. Any exercise is good.

9. Reliving Childhood
    Remember back in elementary when it was just beginning to be spring again? Playing in the playground, which had been almost deathly cold just a few months before, was just starting to be fun again. Fast forward to now. Nothing is really different except a few years and a new school. Make a stop by that old playground, preferably after elementary has let out for the day, and relive the past. Swing on the old swings, slide down the slide and then climb back up. Spring is the perfect time to take a break from studying and have some fun.

10. Feel the Wind
    This one is kind of a guilty pleasure. What is better than driving with the windows open and just feeling the wind? Mass St. is possibly the best place to drive around with the windows down. As the car passes by the shops listen to snatches of the buskers playing for coins on the corners, or of thumping bass in a passing vehicle are heard through the open windows. Driving with the windows down opens up an entire new world that otherwise would have been ignored.