Over the weekend, my family and I traveled a couple hours north to one of our favorite summer camping and floating spots, only to witness an episode of MTV Spring Break.

Last week I wrote a story about an area near Stanley, Idaho, that we go to every summer to float tube and camp for two to three days. My wife and other members of the group left Thursday afternoon to claim a waterfront campsite, and we ended up getting the one we've camped at the last couple of years. What we didn't know is that in the course of one year, our favorite site has become the parking lot and community float tube blow up center.

We spent the majority of the trip in awe at how many people have now discovered what used to be a quiet retreat for the work weary. In past years while floating the river, we may have encountered between 20 and 30 people throughout the entire experience. On Saturday (June 26), we must have been passed by between 150 and 200 people. Paddleboarders, kayakers, giant, inflatable pink flamingos--you name it, they floated past us, some of them bringing their dogs on the float.

The sounds of trees swaying in the breeze and birds chirping were no longer noticeable. Instead, they were drowned out by waves of people walking into our campsite and asking for directions. Dozens of visitors also decided to park their automobiles next to our campsite to blow up their floaties. I didn't let it bother me too much, but some in our party were really annoyed about it.

We also discovered that an area tourism website is now promoting the experience as "The Lazy River Float," complete with directions on how to get there. This might have had something to do with the massive amount of people that will forever now be flocking to what used to be our secret getaway.

On the bright side, we took our 12-year-old Bulldog on what will probably be her last camping trip, as she can barely walk and age has caught up to her. At least she got some time by the firepit, which has always been her favorite thing about camping.

Greg Jannetta

Stanley Lake Idaho

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