As midterms overwhelm our schedules, nerves grow tense, seemingly endless homework accumulates and free time is often converted to study time. But spring quarter is unlike any other. Not only does it hint of good things to come in the summer months, but the warmth of the sunshine and the gentle breeze offer the subtle suggestion to get off the couch and enjoy the outdoors.
During Easter weekend, I was hard-pressed to decline the urge to go outside as Eastern Washington was blessed with one of the best weekends of weather since fall quarter. I’ll admit that I struggle to refuse anyone or anything when homework is on the line, but that particular weekend was different. If I missed that weekend for homework, I’d be kicking myself until the end of the quarter. So I joined my brother and some of our friends, packed up our gear and drove to Post Falls, Idaho, to experience rock climbing.
About four miles east of the Washington and Idaho border is Q’Emiln Park, one of the best places to go rock climbing in the Inland Northwest. Problems await just about any skill level, along the granite cliffs with ledges, cracks, overhangs and sheer faces. Cliffs were crawling with thrill-seekers, from middle school students to adults. We tried different routes most of the day, but the hot sun on bare skin and throbbing pain one feels weren’t the last of it.
The cracks and the crevices were exploding with tidings of spring. Thick green mosses, ferns and lichens grabbed hold of everything that was partly shaded from the blazing sun.
Grass widows and trout lilies could be found everywhere but the most heavily trodden patches of earth. While the sun was shining and people were climbing, I blew through an entire roll of film on my camera, cap a beautiful day.
That evening, as the stars appeared, I began to realize just how much there is to look forward to. The looming deadlines of assignments to come have lost their intimidation. Yes, spring has sprung, and it won’t be long until summer. The wilderness is calling. Don’t let it pass you by.