Hiking During a Pandemic

I always feel better when I’m outside, where the air is fresh and the sunlight provides a healthy dose of vitamin D.  Now that the COVID-19 virus is sweeping the globe, getting outdoors sounds better than it ever has.  Many of us are following the guidelines of “shelter in place” recommendations, working from home and limiting trips to the stores.  In most places however, it is permissible to hit the trail, if not encouraged.  An exception to this is hiking on trails with high foot traffic, that are not in your local area or hiking where you put yourself, and more importantly, first responders at risk.  So stay local, stay safe, but get outside if you can.  It will do wonders for your psyche.

I managed my first hike today since the shit hit the fan and I found it was exactly what I needed.  Hikes always feel good but this one was different, like I needed it.  Admittedly, it was a bit strange at times though, a woman went 15 feet off the trail to go around me, to maintain her distancing, albeit almost triple what is recommended.  This hike was in Boulder after all so I’m used to strange things happening out there.  Extreme social distancing aside, being on the trail and away from the news, it feels like nothing is happening out there in the world.  I remember reading about hikers that were down in the Grand Canyon during 9/11 with no cell service oblivious to the events happening above the rim.  When they eventually made it out of the canyon days later, they learned the terrible news of what happened and they recalled how strange it was that there were no planes flying overhead.  On this day, if it weren’t for hikers wearing N95 masks, you’d never know there was a pandemic going on.

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I admit that I do not understand any more than the next person about the virus and where the safest place to be is during all of this.  What I do know is that being outside, away from crowds is a good, and relatively safe place to be.  Just keep your distance, don’t touch anything, bring hand sanitizer,  gloves, and a mask and you can have a brief respite from the stresses of our new reality.

It’s important to keep our bodies and minds active and healthy during this time.  Get some air if you can and be safe out there!  So if you get a hike in, be safe, stay local, don’t take unnecessary risks, and obey the law!  In case you need a little inspiration, here are a few reminders of what’s out there…

 

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