Recreation Provides Essential Therapy
By Adena Cook, Blue Ribbon Coalition
catastrophes are weighing heavily on everyone’s mind. The September 11 attacks changed our comfortable world
forever, in ways we only now are beginning to understand. The official immediate reaction that shut down the
country’s air travel was necessary for security, and the follow-up
that caused many to cancel travel was understandable.
The economic fallout was horrendous.
very stressful to find our bearings as our world has changed forever.
Yet we have a duty to carry on, for ourselves as well as for our
country. On September 25, I
flew from Idaho Falls to Minneapolis.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the flight was routine and
proceeded very comfortably, although it was strange to see the
Minneapolis terminal nearly deserted when I arrived at 8:30 PM.
That situation changed dramatically when I departed for home a
few days later; a 40-minute line crawled through the gate screening.
I understand that now these kinks in the system are smoothing
carrying on with a heightened sense of patriotism. I am very encouraged to see flags flying everywhere.
I am proud to see all the “United We Stand” and “In God We
Trust” signs on commercial billboards throughout the country.
We search for ways to contribute materially.
Many are rediscovering the core values that I hold dear.
is essential, not frivolous; to take time out during these troubled
times to enjoy our favorite kind of backcountry recreation. We need to spend a few hours watching the landscape unfold
before us as we travel through. We
need to escape into the challenge of twists, turns, hills, rocks, and
ledges. We need to smell
the dry weeds and falling leaves of the season (gesundheit!).
We need to fall asleep at night exhausted by physical exertion,
our mind overwhelmed by the sensations of the outdoors.
can return to the cares of the day renewed, re-created.
I am pretty lucky that my husband, Jeff, insists that we get out
on some trail somewhere on a weekly basis.
If I protest that we must stay home and attend to chores, he can
get pretty cranky. Chores can wait, but renewal of the spirit cannot.
When I come back, I am so much more relaxed; stresses have
bounced off with each rock in the trail.
I am so much more productive as I resume life’s tasks.
As our burdens become greater, so is our need to take this time
of our basic freedoms that we most insistently defend is the “freedom
to recreate”. We can’t
be restored or re-created if we don’t have access and we don’t have
choices. You are aware that
radical groups work very hard and spend millions of dollars to deny us
this access and choice. They
proselytize their recreation values and demonize ours.
They use every means, legal, political, and media to force their
values on everyone, denying us the freedom to choose.
mission to promote recreation access and choice becomes even more
important during these times of trouble and trial.
We need your support now more than ever. Additionally, your local club is the first line of defense in
protecting your recreation close to home. Both BlueRibbon and your local
club really do need help in protecting “freedom to recreate” –
your recreation access and choice.
also need to take a few hours and get out in the outdoors.
Pursue your favorite activity and take your family with you.
The challenges of the day will not seem so large when you return.
You can face our changed world renewed and re-created.
Cook, Public Lands Director