Discussions about kayaking get brought up all the time around friends and coworkers. I honestly only know a handful of people in Twin Falls that don't own paddleboards or kayaks, and every time a certain well-known spring located in Hagerman gets mentioned, I hear the same comments.

"Don't bother going," is something I heard yet again this week from a friend who used to spend a lot of time kayaking at Blue Heart Spring. The combination of over-crowding and littering are the main reasons I'm hearing this type of talk. The over-crowding is completely out of anyone's control, but for those trashing this incredible location, 40- minutes outside of Twin Falls, well that's just inexcusable. It's not all teens that are trashing the area either.

The truth is, I haven't gone to check out Blue Heart Spring yet, and I've had years to do so. My reason is because when I go kayaking, I prefer to not be around scores of other human beings, which is why I prefer lake kayaking. It's obviously a beautiful place, and the locals should be proud to have such an escape. Scores of videos about the spring are uploaded monthly due to it's appealing waters.

Blaming tourists and those that have moved from other states for the trash in the area is ludicrous. They might be contributing, but so are so many locals, and to think otherwise is preposterous. Most of the people I know who do things like pick up after themselves camping, or carry garbage bags in the trunk of their cars to help beautify the areas where they live, were brought up that way.

Raising kids to grow up to be attentive, caring adults, takes disciplining them, and unfortunately too many parents are completely absent in times where these life lessons can be instilled. The Internet is unfortunately raising a great deal of our youth these days.

There are careless slobs all across this country, and it's our job to be better than they are, especially for those of us with kids. When the U.S. reaches its projected population of roughly 400 million in 2040, are we going to start blaming procreation for rising property costs and garbage on trails? Or, do we start doing some real, old-fashioned parenting, and maybe make sure our kids are hearing our voices, and not distracted by tablets, TikTok and Call of Duty.

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