Bill Muhlenfeld is owner and publisher of Distinctly Montana magazine and other publications. He lives in Bozeman with his wife and co-owner, Anthea George, and always finds time to enjoy the great outdoors, when he is not writing about it...
“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~ Mark Twain
It’s that time of year and, in Montana we are all feeling the symptoms. Spring creeps up tingling from the snowmelt on your shoes, and infects you with sniffles of sunshine and throats tickled warm by the freshening breeze. It is a low fever at first, lazy, even languid. The daylight gathers strength and your eyes may ache from the sensation, corneal pools squeezed, unaccustomed to the brightness. You may well feel a bit light-headed with possibilities, or slightly nauseous with anticipation. At its peak you will likely shiver with excitement. Spring has arrived in Montana.
But, no worries. Soon your fever will break, and you will recover in a healthy sweat from hiking, climbing, biking, gardening, or working your trout line from the shore of a cascading stream. You may soon find yourself stretched out in a field of wildflowers, or on a mountainside slab, comfortably warmed by a star, tens-of-millions of miles away. The effect is glorious, the seasonal ache a reminder of winter’s muscular grip, now dripping, trickling, then melting away during your extended recovery.
Spring fever in Montana is highly contagious. Be sure to infect everyone you meet.