A thousand reasons to love fall

As Utahns, we are lucky to live in a region that has four distinct seasons. Each has something to offer and everyone has their personal favorite, but it’s clear that fall is the superior season, and here’s why.

First and foremost is the weather. Gone are the days of uncomfortable summer heat, and the bitter cold and inversion of winter are still a couple of months away. Fall has a happy balance, with warm days freshened by cool autumn breezes. It’s not so cold that you need to bundle up in five layers and look like a human marshmallow, but it’s just cold enough that you can dig out all those cozy sweaters, cardigans, plaid flannels and scarves that have been gathering dust in the back of your closet all summer.

Somewhat related to the weather, but important enough to merit its own paragraph, is fall foliage. The cooling temperatures of the fall season are contrasted by the warmer colors worn by trees around the valley and in the mountains. It has the photographer in me itching to drive up the canyon and capture the fiery fresco of yellow, orange and red. In a few weeks those leaves will fall and gather in gutters along the streets. There are very few things more oddly satisfying or irresistible than stomping through a pile of crunchy leaves.

You can’t forget the holidays. Sure, Christmas is most people’s favorite holiday, and it’s the biggest Christian holiday, but Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday for America’s two other biggest religions: eating too much food and watching football. Besides, Christmas might as well qualify as a fall holiday since the music and advertisements start earlier and earlier in the fall each year. Then of course there’s Halloween. If you’re young at heart and like dressing up, you can put that costume you made for Comic-Con to good use. If not, there are haunted houses, corn mazes and scary movies. And did I mention you can get more free candy in one night than from every other holiday of the year combined?

Autumn even has its own foods. For some reason, people have this insatiable need for pumpkin spice as soon as October hits. They put it in bread, lattes, cookies, pies and more. I’m not even that big of a fan of pumpkin, but I try one of these pumpkin-flavored things every year because we all like the idea of pumpkin spice flavored foods more than we actually like the food itself. And don’t even get me started on the wonders of slowly simmered soups and chilies that warm up your insides like you’ve swallowed an electric blanket.

If I haven’t convinced you that fall is the superior season, then hop in your car and drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon with the windows down, fresh air in your face and scarf around your neck. Take a stroll in some crunchy leaves, and top it off with some potato soup and pumpkin pie. I’m sure you’ll be convinced.

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