It’s OK to play tourist, too

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The workaday world can eat you up. Work is good. Business is fine. But one of the reasons you work so hard might be slipping past you right this very minute.

Want a priority list? How about your feet in cool water, clean sand scrunched up between your toes, sun kissing your shoulders as a breeze whispers through your hair?

A walk downtown with a stop for ice cream or coffee, window shopping that gets serious, a nightcap at sundown? A tent pitched in a shady quiet place? A Silver Mountain hike or Schweitzer adventure? A Silverwood immersion that leaves the whole clan exhausted — and exhilarated?

It’s the middle of summer, and we respectfully submit that while there are some great places on this big planet of ours, none is any better than right here, right now. If you doubt that, consider how many thousands upon thousands of tourists flock to North Idaho to frolic in our forests, play in our mountains, dive into our lakes and rivers and maybe most/best of all, slow down, tune out and relax.

That they happen to spend wheelbarrows of money while they’re on holiday here is a curious consequence that the region has grown accustomed to. The flow-through from all that spending benefits more than the hoteliers, restaurateurs, merchants, gas station owners and parade poop scooper-uppers. It benefits you if for no other reason than outsiders’ tax contributions mitigate yours.

So here’s a toast to the rest of summer, and to the visitors who remind us how lucky we are to live here year ‘round.

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