Mountain vacation destinations like Sun Valley and the Sawtooth Mountains are unusually crowded this summer.

That alone is good reason to slow down.

COVID-19 still has Canada buttoned up, and the border with the U.S. is still closed. European destinations are still struggling with the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus, balancing the number of doses of the vaccine to achieve maximal resistance and the desire to return to life as it was before the pandemic.

So, vacations for Americans are mostly domestic this summer.

Visit Sun Valley reports that local hotel occupancies have not only bounced back to pre-COVID levels but exceeded them. It expects August occupancies to exceed those in 2019 by 17%.

Short time frames for vacations always make visitors frenzied and frazzled in their quest to pack in as many memorable experiences as possible. When local residents reflect that energy, our mountain towns become over-amped.

Coming out of one of the nastiest, sickest winters in the nation’s history, vaccinated Americans have sprinted to embrace the outdoors and to celebrate the freedom from masks and fear. It’s no wonder we’re amped.

However, there’s no need to vacation in ways that threaten the enjoyment and safety of others.

Vacations are for taking a step back and winding down. No need to drive crazily. No need to throw sharp elbows—vacation isn’t a professional sports battle.

There’s every reason to be kind and to—slow—down.

No one can make up for time lost to the pandemic all at once, so take it easy out there. Enjoy the summer and get home in one piece.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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