This time of year, the Mississippi Valley lights up with fall color. The sky becomes a brilliant blue, the perfect backdrop to the blazing trees. It's breathtaking, and it brings tourists down the Great River Road in search of quaint river towns, bluffs covered in fall color, and Midwest hospitality.
Then the leaves drop and the snows come, bringing hunters to the area from all over the country. The little farm towns in this area are surrounded by miles of woods and prairie, making the area a great destination for deer hunters, turkey hunters, duck hunters, pheasant hunters, and coyote hunters.
Not everyone loves the tourists.
I got into a debate on Facebook over the influx of tourists. I really don't care to debate on Facebook, or anywhere else, but I kind of got sucked into the conversation and decided to defend my position instead of ignoring the drama like I usually do. Personally, I don't see what the hang up is. Tourists come to the area, they spend big bucks, and they leave. End of story. Like it or not, there are local businesses who depend on the hunters and the nature seekers. Sure, the hunters tend to get a little rowdy. They come into the taverns after a day in the woods to drink and relax. But then, so do the locals. So what's the difference?
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cool nights. I leave my windows open and snuggle to sleep under a down comforter. I love the colors, the scent of wood smoke, the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. I love the break between tending the garden and shoveling snow. This time of year, we rarely even need to mow the lawn. It's nice having the extra time on weekends.
I love making casseroles and fresh bread for dinner. In the summer, we tend not to use the oven as it heats the house too much. I love watching football. I love Halloween. In fact, the only thing about fall that I don't love is that it's followed by a long, cold, gray winter.
If living in this beautiful area means I have to deal with tourists during my favorite season, I say, bring 'em on!