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OUTDOOR Adventures

By Brian G. Schommer

Going topless…

I am going to make a small prediction that readership of “Outdoor Adventures” goes up this week by a substantial amount simply due to the headline. For those who might be expecting some racy topic matter, I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but you will not find it here. Too often, we get sucked in by the headline only to realize once we come to the end, the cumulative of the start to finish really was not what we hoped for. If you were hoping for something a little risqué with a bit of gossip and a touch of biased politicism stemming from the headline, once again, you are about to be disappointed. If you were hoping to read about driving the roads around our area of Minnesconsin in a convertible… you are in luck.

A convertible top, at least in my opinion, is one of the coolest vehicle options ever. Having the ability to push a button, have the roof of the car collapse into a compartment and allow the wind to pass through your hair as you cruise up and down the avenue goes back to 1919 when James Jones created the patent. The retractable hardtop goes back to 1922 but was not actually produced until 1927. In the United States, convertibles started to increase around 1939 when Plymouth introduced the first mechanically operated convertible roof. Why the history lesson you may be wondering? Because knowledge is power and now your life has been enriched with a bit of information that may come in handy if you are playing Trivial Pursuit or some other game. You’re welcome.

While not the 1967 Ford Mustang convertible that I have often dreamed of, dropping the top on the 2001 Ford Mustang that resides in our garage is something that brings joy to my life. It may not seem like much, but it is often the little things in life that can mean the most. The anticipation of pulling her out of storage in spring to driving here and there on a warm summer day or watching the stars come out as the night sky takes over on the way home from various destinations can often be breathtaking. When we are enclosed in a vehicle, we do not have the full opportunity to take in everything around us and essentially, we miss out on seeing some things. We cannot realize what we are missing because we do not have the opportunity to see it, but rest assured, we are missing out.

While travelling I-94 on the way back from a baseball game, we drove under a bridge that was having a few repairs done to it. As I looked up, I could see the girders holding up the structure and for a short moment was amazed at the amount of engineering it takes to design a structure that allows us to get from point A to B. For that moment, had I not been able to see that, I would not have been able to appreciate the efforts of others that make our life better. Without a roof on the car, the saying “the sky is the limit” takes on an entirely literal meaning.

We have some incredible scenic drives surrounding us and I encourage you all, convertible or not, to take some time to just get out and look around. We have numerous highways and byways with twists and turns, woods and fields, hills and bluffs which all present some great opportunity for appreciation. Appreciation of what you may be wondering. Of everything and anything that you want to appreciate. It might just be the ability to get away from the daily grind for a bit to take some “me” time or the beauty that surrounds you which may be taken for granted far too often (as is the case for many of us). It may be for the people in your life, many that you have never met, who make life easier, or at least better for you. If we do not take the time to see what is out there, while we will not realize what we are missing, we are still missing out. Take the time so you do not miss out. If you have a convertible, or a friend who has one that you can call to go cruising… DO IT. Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.

June 22, 2022