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If you’ve never been to Cache Valley before and are just visiting or have perhaps lived here off and on or have even been a permanent resident, I thought it would be fun to (re)introduce you to our little piece of Western real estate through what I like to call the ABC’s of Cache Valley living.

A is for allergies (some people are allergic to pollen, gluten or peanuts while other people are allergic to things like the U.S./ Mexican border or even Europe), Aggie Ice Cream, the American Flag, Angie’s restaurant and bustling downtown Avon.

B is for The Bluebird restaurant, Black Friday carnage, Blue Ribbon Beef, Benson Marina, Bear Lake (home to Raspberry Days, boating, Pickleville Playhouse, Beaver Mountain, Bigfoot and brown trout).

C is for our Cruise-In, concerts, Cache County Fair, camping, cows, chickens, churches, Cache Civic Ballet, cheese curds, corn mazes and cold winters.

D is for distracted drivers, dry summers, drive-in theater (Come on! Someone step up and bring it back!), Dutch ovens, dairy farms and dyer’s woad.

E is for elevation, 4,534 feet above sea level, evergreens, elk, emails, Eccles Theater and excellent education.

F is for First Dam (home to myriads of Wonder Bread-raised waterfowl, family get togethers, and the future start of the drive-thru line for In-N-Out Burger), fry sauce, football, funeral potatoes and fireworks.

G is for gas stations, a new one every month with five bucks a gallon on the horizon, Gossner’s Cheese and gorgeous sunsets.

H is for hiking trails, help wanted, hammocks, historical sites, homemade hand-cranked ice cream in a churn, hip waders and handcarts.

I is for inversions, which are a phenomenon equivalent to living in your garage through the winter with the lawn mower running, ice fishing, InstaCare and the “Island,” located just below First Dam.

J is for Jardine Juniper (a conifer tree that’s been around almost as long as Orin Hatch), Juniper-Inn, Jamba Juice, June bugs and jack-o-lanterns.

K is for kids (lots of them), “Kiddos” (a term that drives me crazy and reminds me of Vienna Sausages and pinkie toes), kayaks, kittens (lots of them) and ketchup.

L is for lacrosse, largemouth bass, lumber (Sheet of plywood or a new snowblower?), LD’s Cafe, lemonade, Logan Cave, Logan Landfill, loons and Logan River, which attracts vehicles of all makes and models into its waters every year.

M is for masks (something we’ll never forget), mule deer, Main Street, Maverick (see gas stations), Mendon, manufacturing, milk, military personnel, moose and Macey’s.

N is for North Logan, night games, Newton Reservoir, night crawlers, Stokes Nature Center, nice neighbors and new homes.

O is for online schooling and other experimental ventures, organic gardening, Olympic hopefuls, Otter Pops, Old Ephraim and The Old Grist Mill.

P is for parades (amazing what one will do for salt water taffy, so put your chairs out now for 2022), Pioneer Day, porcupines (stab rabbits), potholes, Pepperidge Farm, pickleball, pancake breakfasts, popsicles and the Pumpkin Walk.

Q is for Quizno’s and their honey bacon club sandwiches (too bad they vacated the valley), chips and queso, The Quad, quilts, quaking aspens and quarter horses.

R is for rodeos, family reunions, ribeye steaks, road construction, rainbow trout, raspberry shakes, Ricks Springs, root beer, carnival rides and Right Hand Fork.

S is for Summerfest, slip-n-slides, snow days, Slurpees, Saint Anne’s Retreat, smoked brisket, swimming lessons and s’mores.

T is for Trader Joe’s (hey, it could happen), trampolines (brought to you by your local Aflac affiliates), turtle cake from the Coppermill (oh how I miss it), Thanksgiving turkey, turn signal (it’s that stick thingy on the side of your steering thingy), Temple Fork, tubing and Tuba Christmas.

U is for Utah State Football (and its revolving-door coaching program), upland game, udders (lots of these), ugly Christmas sweaters, Utah Theater and U-Haul trucks.

V is for Valentine’s Day, vaccinations (Oh boy, here we go, yes? No? What’s a vaccine?), Venmo, “No Vacancy,” vacations, vaping, variants (there’s that word again).

W is for Wind Caves, Wellsville, waffles, wakeboarding, Wingers, warranty (as in, “We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.”), Wonder Bread (see waterfowl at First Dam), waterskiing, walking trails, weather (it’s anybody’s guess).

X is for X-ray (like when someone brights you with their high-beam million candlepower halogen lights, thereby taking your X-ray), Xbox and X marks the spot, which apparently was the case recently when someone found 10,000 bucks under a big X in the middle of a hiking trail. We need to do something like that in Cache Valley, only use other incentives like free back surgeries or buy-one-get-one-free colonoscopies.

Y is for yellow (the middle light in the traffic sequence that apparently means “burn rubber baby”), YouTube, “The Y” (often associated with the split at the south end of Main Street leading to Hyrum or Wellsville, or the other “Y” that refers to that “other university” located south of here both loved and hated in the valley), Yarrow, yield (not surrender), Yeti (which is actually Bigfoot in valley winter apparel), yard sales and yard restrictions (see Death Valley landscaping ideas).

Z is for Zanavoo restaurant (Does anyone want to bring this one back?), zucchini doorbell ditching, Zithromax, the zoo at Willow Park and Arnold Ziffle for those who watch Green Acres.

Cache Valley, indeed for me, says “There’s no place like home.”

Chad Hawkes is a fifth grade teacher at North Park Elementary School. He can be reached by email at chad.hawkes@ccsdut.org.

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