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This year, I had to take a hard science class so I chose a Biology course that focuses on Mountain Sciences. For our labs, we go outside. We hike, we kayak, we explore nature. (And yes this is a shameless plug for the class.) While it is getting colder, there may be a few more days of sun that could make one of these trips possible. 

Three weeks ago, we went to John C. Shields park. This park is only 15 minutes away and has so much to offer. There are rocks that can easily be used to climb, both on a line and bouldering. I would suggest going with people who have climbed before and who can provide guidance but it is something worth looking into. There are also many beautiful hiking trails. As you go up the mountain, you can see where wildfires have come through and killed some of the vegetation. Once you get to the top, you can see for miles over the Spokane Valley. If you choose to keep going down the other side, you will end up in a very green and luscious forest. The mountain is pretty steep and does require a little bit of time to fully enjoy – I would suggest packing lots of water and a snack, wearing sturdy shoes, and bringing layers.


Two weeks ago, we kayaked down the Little Spokane River. The river moves pretty quickly but not at a scary pace. There is not much work to be done so it is a very peaceful place to paddle around. I would highly suggest looking into any trips that GU Outdoors might offer for Zags, or maybe even see if you could rent the equipment with friends. Like before, I would suggest bring lots of water and a snack. Don’t wear cotton because it will retain water and doesn’t dry very easily. While the water may not be that much colder than the air outside, cold water sucks the heat out faster than cold air.


Both of these trips are a lot of fun and a great way to get out into nature. For me, nature is a wonderful way to recharge and take a break from everything. School is picking up, so take some time for yourself and explore this beautiful place we get to call home!







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