The Best Driving Happens in Autumn
Of the year’s four seasons, autumn is the one that inspires me the most as a driver––particularly early fall. This always-too-short transitional period is a special time, when the coolness of the air is in perfect proportion to the warmth of the sun that brings the allure of the open road into greater focus.
You might assume that for someone who lives in the snowbelt (Illinois, to be specific), summer would be my favorite. Or perhaps spring, which feels a lot like fall but represents the end of winter instead of its beginning. But you’d be wrong.
Summer, like winter, is a season of extremes, and an otherwise perfect drive is routinely spoiled by intense heat or worse, humidity. For all the joys that spring brings with it, the roadside scenery too often resembles winter, with bare branches still defining the trees. For me, fall is the best season for driving.
Fall is the best because you still get to wear your sunglasses, but you get to put away the sunscreen. You can drive with the windows down and the seat heaters up. It’s the best because no matter what you drive, it probably won’t overheat and it doesn’t even matter if you have a functioning heater.
Fall is at the height of harvest season , and that means food! Which is the perfect excuse for a roadside picnic or trip to that restaurant across town you’ve been dying to experience.
Fall is the best because it’s the one season that grants you permission to dress up just to drive. Grab your favorite tweed jacket and driving cap, perhaps throw on a scarf and a pair of driving gloves. The amber lighting is as golden as the leaves on the trees, and everything looks delightful.
It’s time to live outside a little, and drive a lot, because fall never lasts long enough.
Photography by Bryan Joslin for Petrolicious