As we enter the transitional period between winter and spring — which, in Montana, is usually marked by lots of wind and hybrid precipitation (e.g. frozen rain) — I am comforted only by the fact that there is a warm, sunny light at the end of the tunnel. Although winter has its own endearing charm here in the Garden City, I am definitely ready to move on. Here are a few reasons why I can’t wait for spring:

1. Outdoor sporting events – Sure, basketball is exciting to watch, but I definitely prefer fresh air to stuffy gymnasiums. Soon, we’ll be able to take in tennis, track and softball in an alfresco setting.

2. Slacklining – OK, so it’s not exactly my hobby of choice, but I do enjoy participating as a spectator. Nothing says “spring” like a blanket on the UM Oval, a smoothie and a front row seat to a mesmerizing tightrope walk.

3. Slow walks – No, not on the beach, mostly because we don’t have one — but the Kim Williams Trail will do just fine. I know I’m not the only one who is tired of speed-walking everywhere in order to avoid spending excess time in the uncomfortably frigid air.

4. Flowers – All of the brown, dead foliage and yellow grass is starting to get depressing. Before we know it, gardens will be in full bloom, Mount Sentinel will be covered with a vibrant shade of green and you’ll be complaining about having to mow the lawn again.

5. Ice cream – The parking lot at Big Dipper has been a sad, lonely place lately. I always look forward to the first warm day of spring, when people come out of the woodwork for a refreshing scoop of Espresso Heath.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.