In February, I joined a group of fellow cancer warriors in the Idaho wilderness for a lovely snowshoe hike, followed by a well-deserved soak at The Springs in Idaho City. We all met that morning at the Boise Airport Holiday Inn, introducing ourselves and doing gear checks. A caravan of carpools wound its way up to Idaho City, where we helped each other navigate the internet for parking passes. One last caravan to our trailhead, and we were ready for the adventure to continue.

Our group consisted of a variety of abilities, ages, and cancers. But one thing was universal: a desire to seize the moment and live the lives we have been gifted. As we tromped through the soft snow, we soaked in the sun beaming down on our group and breathed in the fresh mountain air. Each breath reminded us that we have moved within our cancer journeys to a place where we can and do great things in spite of our diagnoses. Each step we took proved our determination to be more than just a patient, a label.

There were many breaths, and many stops. That weekend the sun was bright, the sky blue, and the temperatures spring-like. The group that returned to the trailhead was almost unrecognizable due to shed layers and rosy cheeks! Everyone enjoy a tailgate box lunch provided by Albertsons Marketplace, then headed down the road to The Springs.

A soak at The Springs is about the best ending to a mountain day that one could ask for. There’s a mellow vibe and great views, and the waters are wonderful for soothing sore muscles after a hike. What I loved was floating from one group to another, hearing cancer stories but also getting to know these members of the worst club in the world: Club Cancer.

We come from different backgrounds but we have all found ourselves, thankfully, on the other side of a life marker. Thanks to River Discovery, we were able to enjoy a day of celebration and hope surrounded by the healing waters (and snow!) of our Idaho wilderness.