Be a good tourist

The end of school ushers in the season of tourists. I’m supposed to love tourist season because it supports the mountain economy, but it is largely unlovable. It is

This is not a boat.

This is not a boat.

like the wackadoodle factory unloaded its inventory of leftover wackadoodles without a dumping permit. Here, then, are some tips to the flatlanders on going native in the mountains.

  • It’s OK to take your beverage cans and bottles with you. The forest will be OK without them. In fact, the beer box you want to leave in the grass will make a handy carrying case for them until you get them back to a recycler.

    Nope. Not a boat.

    Nope. Not a boat.

  • Wild water birds aren’t really into radio-controlled boats. That’s why they keep flying away when you steer your boat near them. How’s this for an idea? Instead of chasing great blue herons, chase other radio-controlled boats! You could even put imaginary pirates on yours to commandeer another boat. You can’t do that with a heron.

    Boats. Chase 'em!

    Boats. Chase ’em!

  • Crossing the double-yellow line on the highway could seriously ruin your day. There is traffic on the other side, and it’s headed toward you. Take a personal challenge to keep your 6-foot-wide SUV in the 12-foot-wide lane between the double-yellow and the white lines.
  • It is true that driveways are made for parking, but that means your own driveway for your own parking. When you park in someone else’s driveway, they just might fire up the Bobcat and go across your hood a few times. (Seriously, it’s really expensive to get your car towed up here – like $100 for a two-mile tow because of the liability on curvy mountain roads. Then it’s another several hundred to bail your car out of car jail.)
  • It’s acceptable here to say “thank you” when someone holds open a door for you. We may run chainsaws and wear work boots, but we also know common courtesy – which is why we held the door.
  • When you see a sign saying “one way” and the arrow points toward you, it means don’t go there. The arrow is not singling you out as an exception.
  • If you need to stop the car to take a selfie, please pull to the shoulder of the highway to do it.
  • Parking in the middle of the road is uncool, and no amount of arguing that the road looks like a driveway will get you off the hook for blocking fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles. Only getting out of the way and paying the $600 fine can do that.
  • When you go home, please don’t take our rocks and trees with you. Nature carefully curated all the elements that decorate the forest. She will give you some of your own down where you live.

C’mon up, have a good time, but do remember that when you come to the woods, you’re inviting yourself into our home. Please respect it.

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