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Aug 24, 2016 03:27PM

from the editor

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Laura Anderson Shaw

Ah, September — the summer's brutal heat and hectic schedules packed with ballgames, vacations and get-togethers are winding down, just in time for school, fall sports and outside chores to pick up.

I am finding a certain serenity in the outdoors, now that I can better tolerate the temperatures. I'm not as outdoorsy as my husband is, but it's growing on me. I've come a long way from my first-ever camping trip last year, where my blood-curdling screams filled a Wisconsin state park campground after a twisty, caterpillar-like creature flailed my way. I have yet to master sleeping through the night in the great outdoors, but I have been enjoying my attempts. Well, sort of.

My husband and I are planning hikes and camping trips with friends for this month and next, with hopes of spending some time at the Maquoketa Caves (I've never been!), and possibly taking a short bicycle trip along the Hennepin Canal, between Colona and Geneseo, Ill., as Radish contributor Todd Welvaert writes about on page 12. How could you not want to hop on a bike and ride after seeing the photo he shot on our cover?

John Muir writes that, "All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky; through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God's eternal beauty and love. So universally true is this, the spot where we chance to be always seems the best."

While I can't completely agree with him on the "hot" part, the rest rings true. This month, whether we find ourselves in our yards or gardens; at the second annual Monarch Migration Festival on Sept. 10 in Galesburg, which we've written about on page 10; on our bicycles headed toward camp, or with a kiddo at a Nahant Marsh Toddler Tales program in Davenport, which contributor Alexandra Olsen writes about on page 18, there will be plenty to take in and appreciate.

So here's to the great outdoors, far away or in our own backyards. Wherever we find ourselves this month, let's make the best of it!

— Laura Anderson Shaw

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