PNW simply perfect

Inland Northwest deserves more love; don’t be so quick to leave.

By Sam Deal, Opinion Editor

“I can’t wait to leave this place.”

The frequency that I hear those words is climbing at a steady rate. Admittedly, I am a consistent abuser of the sentence. It flows with concerning regularity, thick with a negative context that picks at my consciousness.

In 2013, I moved to the Inland Northwest with the mindset that Cheney-Spokane would be a stopgap, a way to check off another box on the list. With my time quickly coming to a close and my exit from the area imminent, it is hard not to wish these last few months would just fast forward.

However, after spending this past week in Austin, Texas, a familiar feeling crept into my thoughts: “I’m so happy to be from the Northwest.”

Not that there is anything wrong with Austin – or anywhere else in the United States – but the PNW is a place unlike any other. Spokane isn’t home, therefore “nothing quite like home” doesn’t pertain to this feeling.

In previous ventures, I attempted to pinpoint exactly what makes this region so enjoyable. Is it the fresh air? Is it the picturesque landscapes gleaming as epic backdrops for our major cities? Maybe the ease with which you can break away from all the clutter of everyday life?

After spending a week in a city four times the size of Spokane, I’m longing to get out of cell service and plunge into the mountains surrounding our little metropolis.

And a 15-minute drive out of Spokane will put me in a position to do that.

The last shades of fall will be fading away as the chilling grip of winter inches closer. Yes, snow is falling at elevation.

Earlier this month, while navigating a trail up Mount Spokane, I found myself at a picture-perfect vista of the underlying valley. In the waning sunlight, my friend remarked, “we are truly lucky to live where we do.”

Nodding in agreement, I wondered how two people could so easily contradict much of their daily sentiment towards where we live.

Being away for a week has reinforced the desire to cherish my remaining time here. This revitalized spirit combined with anticipation of what adventures lay ahead increases my ability to maximize all the inland northwest has to offer.

I came to terms with Spokane being temporary a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean rushing into the future. Slowing things down and seeing what is right in front of me is a much better predicament than plotting the escape route.