Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center: Logan is Horribly Wonderful

By Dennis Hinkamp

For the most part, Logan is horribly average which is mostly good. People who have stayed here too long, present company included, like to find things to complain about, but that’s just the age talking. Like most cities our size, we wax and wane between best kept secret and loved to death. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle details by the fork in the road. Oh, and then there is confirmation bias and fake news to confound any opinion you might have.

Logan shows up on some best and worst lists but mainly we are terribly average framed by some world class scenery; at least on the days when you can see it or drive to it. Still, those 15-20 perfect sunsets per year can really get you through the petty normality of Cache Valley. The reason there are so many second homes in mountain west towns is that there are generally only four months of the year that visitors really love.

Those of us who are full timers by choice, marriage or economics tend to look at things a little differently. For example:

Though we have not completely escaped the opioid crisis, it is somewhat soothing in compensation to know that we have a “Dirty Soda” epidemic. When I first heard the term Dirty Soda my mind went in terrible directions, but it turns out to mainly be a black-ops plot by dentists to get people to drink not only more sugary beverages, but to also weaponize them with extra sticky sweet flavorings. You can get them for, like, 79 cents a quart. To further enable the valley’s sugar addiction, our so-called laws allow you to get all you want at drive-through windows with no ID or proof of competence required.

To counterbalance this vulgar indulgence, we seem to have more yoga studios and bike shops than ever. You can practice various variations of yoga every day of the week including Sunday, but I don’t think there is a Sunday bike shop. Note to entrepreneurs; open a shop for Velotarians and they will come in all their garish colors, noisy-shoe and Spandex glory.

In other commerce concerns: the mall has been on deathwatch for at least a decade, but that is pretty much the national trend except for strip malls. The last time I went to the Cache Valley Mall was when Radio Shack was open on Sundays and I needed an emergency router cable. My mind also goes in terrible delightful directions when I hear the term “strip mall” but it just really means that that people are too lazy to even walk through a mall. Strip malls allow people to drive right up to the front door and idle their engines in the parking lot.

In other news, how can it be that a valley that is 70% Mormon has this many coffee shops? I know that some non-Utah cities have a Starbucks inside a Starbucks, but that we now have three is pretty amazing. That’s in addition to Ibis, the Jitters hut, Westside and the plethora of campus caffeine-pushing cafes. Every new and some of the old buildings on campus now include a café as part of their design and they all sell espresso drinks. We used to joke about sneaking coffee in over the border; now we just sneak in cheap booze, raspberries and lottery tickets.

Will more people come to our best-crushed secret? The inversions have subsided somewhat mainly because the snow has been sparse. The less snow, the less water which means the fewer homes that will be permitted which means less people and less pollutants in the air; another win for climate change.

Dennis Hinkamp would like to thank everyone who moved away.

This article was originally published on February 28, 2018.