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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I'll Be Back. Later.

View from Crater Lake trail, Flagstaff
In all my decades of hiking, I've never been off the trails for more than a few days. Now, I'm going on my second week without stepping foot on a hiking trail. My choice to avoid trails for the time being is not only because of the ongoing pandemic and the unprecedented (and reckless) surge in trail visitation but because I do not want to strain our already overburdened first responders and healthcare workers. What if I fell, got a snake bite or suffered a medical crisis while hiking? That would pull resources (assuming they would even be available) from where they should be focused.   Also consider that when you travel to off-the-beaten trails, you will likely make rest stops, use public facilities, get fuel or pick up some supplies thus risking unnecessary exposure in small communities where resources and medical services  may be in short supply.
Little Elden Trail, Flagstaff
It’s true that many popular hiking destinations have not yet closed. But "open" and "okay" are not the same thing.
I am spending my time researching and planning hikes for when the crisis is over and looking forward to returning to Arizona’s high country and smelling the pines.
Please use good judgment and stay safe. 

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Thank you for saying this. I hope many people listen, this is the longest I've been off the trails in years, and it's so disappointing to miss the beautiful spring weather and wildflowers, but they will be there next year. Thank you for everyone for staying home and keeping everyone safe.