The best thing about June used to be that it was the end of the school year — finally time for summer.

The last day of school usually meant nobody really had to do anything except get all their stuff out of their desks. Dress codes eased and some of us (not me, of course, I’m talking about a few of my old hoodlum classmates) slipped away early for a skip day that would last until fall.

Rules and schedules faded, and teachers and office staffers — some looking oddly human in shorts and T-shirts — might host an all-school picnic, say, or games on the ball fields.

It seemed like a natural transition, because when you’re a kid, once all the indoor studying is done, your first thought turns to playing outside.

I guess it’s not all that much different now that we’re grownups.

Winter has finally passed and we finally seem to be beating back the pandemic that’s isolated us all for more than a year.

So let’s go play outside.

In case you’ve forgotten how to do that, we have some ideas for you in this month’s issue, which we’re devoting to the outdoors and sports.

A good starting place might be Glenda Tjarnberg’s guide to the Yakima River Canyon, where the sights are as spectacular as the floating, fly fishing, hiking and wildlife-watching.

While you’re there, you might want to see if stand up paddling is for you. Shannon Mahre — who offers professional training in the sport — shows you how to get on your feet and give it a try.

Love to hike, explore and solve puzzles? As Christine Corbett Conklin’s latest report tells us, geocaching might be what you’ve been looking for all along.

On the other hand, if these many months of staying near home have left you feeling like you need to get out and go someplace, we understand. For you, travel guru Addy Logsdon has some suggestions — four of them, actually — for Northwest destinations you can reach with an easy drive.

After all that, if you’d really, really rather stay inside, cozy up with Melissa Labberton’s monthly Yakima Abode feature. Her visit to the home of Randal Leek and Farida Farajullayeva-Leek shows how the travels, talents and passions of a lifetime can shape a home environment.

Outdoors or indoors, we have that and more to savor on this month’s pages.

Read at your leisure, and rest assured: None of this will be on the test. School’s out, remember?

- John Taylor