What’s to Love about Utah

Over two years, I’ve enjoyed the heck out of Utah. Mostly, I’ve appreciated its expanse of wilderness. I’ve spotted my first bobcat IMG_1194(with kitten!), watched a badger move like a lightning-fast hovercraft, and witnessed two families of ravens grow from nest-building to fledged.

I’ve scaled a few peaks, hiked on red rock, and snapped photos of multi-colored prickly pear blossoms. Check out our facebook photos.

With a move to Colorado, I’ll look forward to being a part-time Utah lover. Here’s an off-beat tribute to what’s to love about the Beehive State:

People watching at airports can tell you a lot about a place:

LL Bean boots on a security table

LL Bean boots on a security table

— At the Portland, Maine airport, flyers are a mix of spiffy-dressed tourists and no-nonsense Mainers. Most everyone wears at least one item from LL Bean, an indication of their pragmatism and outdoorsy-ness. Some travelers appear fit. Some decidedly not.

[Does anyone else find this airport’s official name comical? Portland International Jetport. Non-stop to Paris, for sure. The federal acronym is PWM. My mom likes to say, Portland. Where? Maine.]

— At the Cedar Rapids, Iowa airport, flyers are friendly and overweight. Many are white-collar business travelers or fans of the University of Iowa, wearing black and yellow.

— At JFK, in New York, flyers speak scores of different languages, quickly, loudly, and behind expensive sunglasses or cheap replicas of expensive sunglasses.

But never have I seen more fit and adventurous-looking flyers than at the Salt Lake City airport. In the winter, baggage claim is

Workers and travelers at the SLC airport are a fit bunch

Workers and travelers at the SLC airport are a fit bunch

chock-block full of skis and snowboards. In the summer, scores of travelers pack fly rods and backpacks.

Whether local or from away, folks here love to get out.

Despite their animosity towards the federal government (the western states’ movement to turn U.S. lands over to state control was initiated by a Utah congressman), Utahns love their five national parks. (When sequestration forced the parks to close, Utah reopened them with state money and temporary workers. Way to go!)

Utah has more wilderness than all but two states and is ranked similarly when it comes to Utahns’ physical health. Read more here.

What’s not to love about that?

Read What’s Not to Love about Utah

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