Ode to the Joys of Utah: What Our Crew is Thankful For

November 16, 2021

Aaah … autumn. The time of year in Utah when the air gets crisper and the people get mushier. Your social media feed is undoubtedly filled with #blessed and #thankful posts. Maybe even an eternally grateful hashtag or two.Our normally sarcastic crew is no different. When asked “What are you thankful for?” they got sappier than the Douglas fir you accidentally rubbed up against while exploring Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National forest. (Seriously, how do you get that sticky gunk off your gear? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?)

It’s hard not to reflect on how lucky we are to live in our four-season state, especially as the leaves change from Hulk-like greens to a cornucopia of color — brassy golds, burnt oranges and university reds — only to be interrupted by a snowstorm that makes the mountainous landscape a blank slate once again.

Every single one of our peeps said something about being grateful for Utah’s diverse offering of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.“I’ve traveled all over the world and Utah still remains one of my favorite places. I’m grateful for the wide variety of outdoor scenery and the vast selection of outdoor experiences that Utah offers.”

– Marianne Jennings, Product Manager

"I appreciate everything I can do here in Utah. Climbing sandstone red rocks, swimming in crystal clear alpine lakes, making fresh tracks down sparkling ski slopes, mountain biking serpentine singletracks. Hiking through slot canyons, arches and hoodoos. Camping beneath designated dark skies.”

– Robert Stephenson, General Manager

“I'm grateful to live in Utah because I can get some work done in the morning, head up the canyon in the afternoon for some mountain biking, then hit a Utah Jazz game — all in the same day. Utah offers a little bit of everything!” – Randy Rhodes, Account Executive“I can take my family on a trip where we wakesurf, hike, mountain bike and river raft all in the same trip.”

– Cody Draper, Sales Manager

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone gets it. But what specifically are we thankful for? Despite our shared love for Utah, our answers are as diversified as the landscape.

The People

“You bury your vehicle knee-deep in soft sand exploring the southern Utah desert and before you can even request a tow truck, the next crew of complete strangers to come along hooks up the tow straps and gets you back on the road. The good-hearted people found everywhere in this state make all the extraordinary experiences that much more memorable." – Robert (That Long-Winded Fool) Stephenson, General Manager

The Lack of People

“Utah appeals to my introverted nature and makes it easy to escape the crowds when needed. It also appeals to my adventurous side because Utah has an abundance of exciting and thrilling experiences.”

– Marianne (Take Off, Eh!) Jennings, Product Manager

And the Animals

“I'm grateful for the Green and Colorado rivers. It's fun to raft through rapids, but seeing beavers, otters, bighorn sheep, bears, coyotes and ospreys makes me appreciate the creatures of Utah and want to protect their desert oasis even more.” – Mo (Thaaaaaannnnkkk Youuuuu Says the Desert Tortoise) Edwards, Copywriter

The Wet, White Stuff

“I’m thankful for The Greatest Snow On Earth™, and for the incredible Wasatch ski slopes that are just a teeny bit larger than the ones back in Connecticut, where I grew up.” – Brian (The Coffee Shop is My Office) Higgins, Copywriter

And the Dry, Red Stuff

“I can go snowboarding in the mountains one day and then go ride my dirt bike in the desert the next day. I love loading up my RV and exploring different parts of Utah with my family. Watching my kids learn how to become better dirt bike riders is very rewarding.” – Cody (Braap Braap Bro) Draper, Sales Manager

The Sound of Silence

“My favorite place in Utah? Any of the rugged reaches where there is no cell service and the constant chime of text messages and Slack notifications is non-existent. The tree-lined trails where my husband and I can hike while having long, uninterrupted conversations. The campgrounds where my tween and teens don’t care about their screens. And anywhere we can paddleboard peacefully.”

– Melinda (No Relation to Randy) Rhodes, Content Manager

Meaningful Conversations

“I am grateful for Utah’s many beautiful canyons. I’ve spent a lot of time hiking in them after work and on weekends. I tell people I'd much rather spend an hour hiking up the canyon than an hour on a treadmill! The views are incredible. And, the time spent with family and friends in the canyons has been priceless. I’ve strengthened friendships and family relationships through conversations on the trails.” – Carrie (Peace, Love and Trekking Poles) Cox, Operations Coordinator

And Audible Chortles (aka LOLs)

“The outdoor activities are top-notch, but Utah also has other great attractions where my family and I can laugh and play together. Lagoon. Loveland Aquarium. Thanksgiving Point. Comedy clubs. We are never bored because there is always something to do.”– Randy (Sultan of Symmetry) Rhodes, Account Executive

Close to Perfect

“I am thankful I live so close to so many amazing places to camp and hike and swim, while also living in a city that is big enough to have good restaurants, skate parks and jobs.”– Brad (The Pizza Snob With Perfect Teeth) Knickerbocker, Senior Designer

What is it about Utah that you are thankful for? Tag @utahdotcom with your nature photos for a chance to be featured on our Instagram account.