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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Near nature, still some work to do

Let’s check in with our old pals, the “campers.”

Perhaps the best way is to examine the S-R’s electronic archives for recent appearances of that word in news stories and columns.

Right away, we see that our outdoorsy friends “may have inadvertently started the Snake River fire.”

“Inadvertently.” Oh, well. I guess everybody’s got an excuse these days.

Then there was “an advisory from park staff warning campers to bring insect repellent.”

And maybe bring a can of yahoo repellent, too.

Of course, some of the news was grim. “Strong winds knocked down trees and that killed two” you-know-whos.

So I ask you. Is it really wise to ever leave home?

But then there was this optimistic note. “Campers and other people can enjoy the great outdoors with minimal impact to the land and wildlife.”

Yes, but is that really the American way?

Did I mention forest fire stories?

“… speculation that boaters or campers had started it.”

Well, as the gunfighter Jack Wilson says in “Shane,” prove it.

It was probably those boaters anyway.

Then there was a report that “On-the-ball campers already have reserved most of the sites online.”

Got to like the sound of that. “On-the-ball.”

Alas, apparently not all campers can be characterized in flattering terms.

We read that our old pals “have been tossing trash on the ground, cutting down trees and leaving behind an incredible amount of human waste.”

Oh, brother. If you happen to see Smokey Bear out there in the woods, please apologize to him for all of us.

But let’s remember. Campers are most likely to show up in news stories if there is some sort of problem.

Here, I submit, are what headlines would look like if the newspaper ran stories on typical camping trips.

“Weekend in woods serves as detox for brain clutter of modern life”

“All in Garcia family agree – owl sounds are cool”

“Parents encourage kids to clean up campsite left messy by previous park visitors”

“Cousins bond at Priest Lake”

“Heroic teen survives not being able to check phone for 36 hours”

“Grizzly watches Post Falls family in tent, lets them live”

“One Spokane grandfather’s claim: Staring at campfire lowers blood pressure”

Today’s Slice question: If you had to guess, would you say most residents of the Spokane area might rather have twice as much money or twice as much free time?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If you were called on to teach a class, what would be the subject?

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