Our View: Take in Placer’s beauty but be careful

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It’s summer. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the area we live in. And there is much to take in. There’s an abundance of hiking, biking, swimming, rafting, and other sorts of activities to test residents’ endurance levels.
However, with this time of year, some strong precautions are in order.
The river beckons and it is truly beautiful. Nothing says summer like taking a cool dip in the American River when it’s over 90 degrees. Sadly, though, each year there is a life or two taken by the waters. As of this writing there were a few close calls. The Journal reported two swimmers who crossed the river while waters were low. In just a few hours, however, the water levels rose and it was too dangerous to cross back. We applaud the search and rescue teams and those could-have-been victims who deciphered the danger and didn’t risk it. And, it’s stories like this that give Placer residents the deep respect for the river’s power and grace.
On dry land there are plenty of hiking and mountain bike trails. You can’t go wrong with hitting the trails around the canyon or out by Hidden Falls. Any regular reader of the Journal has seen Mary West’s columns which spotlights hikes that explore the beauty of the foothills. Before heading out, make sure to pack water, snacks and sunscreen. Nobody wants to experience heat exhaustion or a stinging sun burn after a well-intentioned outing. And be on the look-out for rattlesnakes and mountain lions, though sightings are rare, they aren’t unheard of.
We would be amiss if this column did not mention the many summer evening events that saturate the community. It seems there is a festival or event happening in Downtown or Old Town weekly. There’s the Auburn Co-op that takes place the first Thursday of the month, Cruise Nights are the second Friday of the month and the Auburn Artwalk kicks off July 20, next one is Sept. 21. Plus, there is the action-packed, flat-track motorcycle races, Fast Fridays every Friday until September. However, with warm evenings, come more insects. It would be wise to bring along insect repellent.
So get outside and seek out our area’s beauty and entertainment, but please, be careful.