Ode to Spring

Why a winter guy is ready for spring.

Winter is my season, always has been. I moved to Montana for the winters and the winters will keep me here. But around the first week of March, after three months of numb toes and frostbitten cheeks, a thought creeps into my head: when will winter be over?

It’s involuntary and I’m immediately ashamed. Do I really want it to end? If I’m being honest with myself, the answer is yes—and here’s why:


The green season may never give me what winter does, but it has its redeeming qualities. Here they are, in no particular order.

Patio Beers
Beer in general is great, and winter is a fine time for drinking, but there is nothing like sitting outside, in shorts and flip-flops, and having a cold beer.

Spring Biking
Hiking the Ridge is no picnic, but no winter activity I know of compares to the lung-busting, thigh-annihilating, soul-sucking agony that is the first climb of the spring—and I can’t wait. Plus I can reward myself with patio beers afterward.

Running Without Cleats
While running in winter is possible, and people do it, those people are crazy. I would rather sit on PK in minus-20 than run in multiple layers of long pants and shoes wrapped in metal. That being said, a nice jog in the spring up Peets Hill at sunset is lovely.

River Running
Winter’s bounty rewards us again in the form of raging whitewater. Whether it’s in a kayak or a raft, the exhilaration of rushing downriver with the spring runoff can’t be beat.

In my opinion, anytime the thermometer rises above 40 degrees, it’s grilling weather. Brats, steaks, burgers—take your pick. But the real outdoor-cooking season doesn’t begin until you can stand next the grill comfortably and chat with your pals. Cooking over flame is supposed to be a social event, and it’s not until spring that we can truly enjoy this timeless ritual.

The list of spring’s redeeming qualities can go on and on. These are some of my favorites. What are yours?