By Erika Kar

Everywhere I go, people are telling me that I need to write about the swimming hole. OK, that is not exactly true. One person, aside from my family and the voices in my head, has suggested that I write about the swimming hole. But one out of 250 people is 0.4 percent. So, 0.4 percent of Mazamans want me to write about the swimming hole. Imagine if 0.4 percent of New Yorkers wanted a column about the Statue of Liberty. That would be roughly 34,200 people. And that would be nothing to shake a stick at, am I right? So, mathematically speaking, the people of Mazama have spoken. Swimming hole news it is.

The Mazama swimming hole can’t be beat during the dog days of summer. It is the perfect place to spend a hot afternoon, with its sandy beach, huge rock in the middle of a deep pool, and jaw-dropping views. It used to be a bit of a secret, known mostly to locals. But recently more and more people have discovered it. There are times when there is not even a place to park and people end up parking all up and down the road, including in the road. What is a Mazaman to do on a 100-degree day when nary a parking spot at their favorite swimming hole can be found? Two ideas have been floating around.

The first idea is to make a wooden box with a slot in the top of the lid, which would be locked. Next make a “Parking $5” sign. All proceeds could be donated to the Methow Housing Trust. This would be a win-win situation, as some people would just decide to leave and go elsewhere, loosening up the parking situation. Others would pay, thereby donating some money to a local cause.

The second idea is a different kind of sign. One that might be a little more underhanded than the pay-to-park sign. This one could say NO PARKING — EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY. However, all locals, or at least those that read this little blurb, would know that this sign is just a trick. Not a malicious trick, but just one to make sure that there is room to park for the people that live here.

Really though, both of these ideas are probably illegal, or at least shady at best. The busy-ness of our upper reaches of the valley is probably a sign of just more to come. Like all wonderful places, growing pains occur and then eventually a new normal settles in. Some people don’t like the new normal and move elsewhere, others will embrace the new normal and make the best of it.

Wise words come again from Kevin Petty: “Dirt tastes better on a hot dog.” Just don’t cook that hot dog over a campfire right now.