I'll admit I'm more of a summer guy. Sunshine, heat, long days, cold beer, dips in the river or the pool, days on the lake and UV exposure that could make a dermatologist cringe are all things that us summer people live for. In non-COVID times, summer also usually means live outdoor music, street parties and fun summer vacations.

Perhaps someday I'll live somewhere with a climate that is more summer than winter, but for now it's Montana and our four seasons... four that often seems like two. Long winters and a short burst of summer is kind of what we get living life above the 45th parallel.

Fall starts on Tuesday, September 22nd and winter begins on December 22nd. The calendar says we get about 90 official days of fall, but in Montana we're extremely lucky to get maybe 45 days of what most would consider "fall" weather. Probably more like 30. While I love summer, even a summer-lover like me will admit that it's tough to hate fall (if we get a long one this year). Here are my top 5 reasons that fall in Montana is pretty okay.

  1. Most of the tourists have headed home. Yes, we love out-of-stater's spending money in Montana, but it's a love/hate thing for a lot of us.
  2. Outdoors are better. I'm not much of a hunter (just because I'm kind of lazy and every hunting adventure I've been on seemed like an awful lot of work), but fall fishing is right up my alley. Water temps cool and the fishing action can be fantastic. Plus, watching the river-bottom cottonwoods and other foliage change colors can make for some very Insta-worthy outings. Camping in the fall doesn't mean sleeping in a sweltering tent either.
  3. The thermostat gets a break. After cranking the air conditioning for 90 days, it's nice to be able to slide that thermostat to the "off" position and enjoy the natural climate. Brisk mornings, comfortable daytime highs and cool nights are tough to beat. No furnace or A/C necessary to maintain a pretty comfortable indoor temperature.
  4. Hoodies and jeans are back. As much as I love wearing shorts and tee shirts daily for three short months, there is something pretty comforting about your favorite hooded sweatshirts. I can wear them with jeans during the week (thank you casual dress code!), or kick up the comfort level with sweatpants on the weekends. Sunday+Football+Hoodie+Wings = happy days.
  5. Routines return. Even with COVID (or maybe especially because of COVID?) it's nice to have the kids back to school. Summertime is kind of a free-for-all. I generally enjoy that lifestyle, but I gotta' admit it's nice when the kids are going to bed early and have a reason to get up in the morning. We're creatures of habit and fall kicks those habits back into gear.

The cliche of pumpkin spice doesn't make my list of nice things about fall because the only coffee I drink is black, but I do love getting out the crockpot and the return of soup and savory food season.

Enjoy our Montana fall. It won't last long.

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