Alison Heebsh is the president of the Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club. The group is celebrating its 65th year.


A stack of Texas travel books is on my nightstand. I have a trip to San Antonio coming up soon, and for me, the research is almost as much fun as the trip!

The book on my coffee table that is a regular diversion is “She Explores” by Gale Straub. It is a collection of short pieces and beautiful photos by and about women on the road and in the wild. Most of the women have appeared on the podcast of the same name. I definitely recommend both the book and the podcast.


The plight of the asylum seekers on the southern border is a story I have followed closely. I am moved by the determination of the people trying to escape violence in their home countries for themselves and their children. The people of Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition in San Antonio have given so much to help to people seeking asylum. Those are the groups I’m following on Facebook to read the heartwarming stories of people helping people.


I’m a public radio junkie, so I’m looking forward to the Asma Khalid interview Nov. 11 at the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. Asma is a National Public Radio political correspondent. She will be interviewed by Angela Davis as part of the Minnesota Public Radio News Journalist Series.


I am all about podcasts. My favorite outdoors podcast is “Dirtbag Diaries.” Their stories always leave me on the edge of my seat. Expertly told and produced, packed with adventure, “Dirtbag Diaries” is the best. I can’t wait to listen to the annual “Tales of Terror” episode.

Also topping my podcast list is “Out There” by Willow Belden. Among the 100-plus episodes, there are some great tales of adventure. Willow’s public radio background shows through in the carefully crafted stories and high-quality production.


I am president of the 500-member Minnesota Rovers, so that occupies much of my time. We have so many great things going on right now, including a big increase in trips in recent years. Our members coordinated more than 200 trips last year — everything from afternoon bike rides to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness paddling trips to backpacking in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. I’m looking forward to a ski and snowshoe trip to the National Forest Lodge in Isabella, Minn., in January.

Our club is taking advantage of our strength to look to the future. A group of about 45 members and nonmembers will gather for a weekend in December to determine our vision for the club in 2050. We’ll explore questions of age diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, and how big we want the club to be. After 65 years, the Minnesota Rovers is going strong, and we want to be deliberate about how to ensure that continues for years to come.

Bob Timmons