Editorial: It’s election time. Get out there and…

Trent Ernst, Editor

This is my last chance to berate you to get out and vote, but somewhere in the last few days the weather has suddenly gotten nice and, to be honest, I don’t really feel like it. You will vote or you won’t. What happens will happen. Reading another editorial about the pitiful voter turnout in the South Peace and in Tumbler Ridge specifically won’t convince you to get out and vote, will it? Didn’t think so.

So, instead of berating you to get out and vote, I’ll berate you to get out. Spring, long expected, has finally arrived! Now is not the time to lock yourself in your basement with your X-Box, now is the time to get out and enjoy the best of what this area has to offer.

Well, okay, maybe not the best. The snow is only just gone from my front yard, and that’s only because I hastened spring by spreading the snow out onto the road to speed up melting. The snow is still thick along the trails around town, and higher elevation destinations are still being used by snowmobilers. The road to Kinuseo Falls is still covered in snow, though fast melting.

But you can get out, cautiously. Start spreading your wings after a long (long, long) winter and smell the fresh air. Okay, so it smells like I haven’t cleaned up a winter’s worth of dog doo in my backyard, but that’s okay! Soon it will be dry, and I can go scoop it up.

I’ve been walking to and from work all through winter. There’s a few of us around town psychotic enough to do that, but now? Now there’s no excuse. The roads are dry, the streets are in the process of having a winter’s worth of detritus and sand swept off, and it’s time to get out and walk or bike around town and the low elevation trails that surround us.

If you’re new to town, you might be scared of getting outside of town; scared of the wildlife. Heck, even some people who’ve grown up here refuse to get out of town, because of the bears. But here’s something to note. Last year, there were more people killed by their beds than were killed by bears all last century. Your house is far more dangerous, statistically, than the outdoors.

Now, don’t get me wrong. A cavalier attitude can get you killed just as easily as, well, falling out of bed. Foolhardiness is as bad as fear. But as long as you take proper precautions, a trip to the Bald Spot, or Tumbler Ridge Point is safer than just going for a walk around town, where there are cars and other people to contend with.

Not convinced, but still want to get out? Don’t do it alone. Wrangle up three or four friends as additional courage.

The Wolverine and Nordic is starting their Flatbed Loops. First one was May 6. Every Monday, a group of people go out and run or walk the Flatbed Loops. And unless your name is Daniel, chances are, you’ll be somewhere in the middle of the pack. Remember that old chestnut about how you don’t have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than the person you’re hiking with? In this case, it is the opposite: the faster runners are first along the trail. Any bears out there will be scared off or give chase, so by the time you go by, you don’t have to worry.

But seriously, take some time to enjoy the nice weather. After this winter, you need to spend as much time enjoying summer as possible. Go to Flatbed for a picnic. Go for a hike. Go for a bike ride. Get out and do some ATVing. Or fishing. Or canoeing. Tumbler Ridge was made for summer, and there are a few thousand square kilometres out there for you to enjoy, to explore, to play in. So get out there and have fun.

And while you’re out there, don’t forget to vote. May 14.