During the Covid 19 pandemic, my top priority is to keep my 87-year-old parents, Don and Ellie, safe and healthy. That’s my job, and frankly it’s a little easier in the less densely populated area we live in than would be for many others living in bigger places like SoCal (OC/LA where we did live, for example). As you all are doing, I am doing any work I can from home, and limiting my contact to quick trips to the store, etc. My previously cavalier attitude has not been upheld; too many people are dying and I can’t put my parents at risk any more than I have to. They are unable to leave the home but I am finding a few hours with the dogs to give them some privacy, and restore some of my own sanity.
Living in NorCal, with so many outdoor trails and hiking areas within such a short distance, I don’t have to go nuts staying in and can get exercise away from the crowds by hiking/trail running with the dogs. You know that’s why I call it #tenlegstosunset because Murphy, my big Catahoula, and Billy, my chubby little chi-wheenie, are by my side, often times late in the day with the sunset in sight. We pick spots that aren’t over run with groups or fellow outdoors enthusiasts, and if they are, we simply just keep driving to another location.
And if we cross people on the trails or in the parking lot, we say hi and stay at a distance. This is the way it is during this pandemic. And before the pandemic, we usually had many of these little trails and such to ourselves any way, since I often have weekdays or late day hours as choices to get out.
And as seemingly narcissistic as it is, I have taken to recording as many of these little favorites on the GoPro, with the dogs along for the fun. If you are someone who just wants some background beauty, and can’t get out because trails aren’t as accessible as they are here where we live (so many within a 30 minute drive), then I am uploading these for your background viewing pleasure. Maybe you’re stuck inside and can’t hike any more. Maybe you live in the frozen tundra. Maybe you just want to see if I do anything stupid along there way. No matter what, feel free to go the playlist on one of my YouTube channels here and hike along with us. And yes, I envision a day when I can’t do this anymore, just having it in the background to remember what beautiful little places we found so close to home.
Also, on my website postcardsfromtheweb where this is posted, use the pulldown menu at the top and I am trying to constantly add/update a list of trails and videos we have enjoyed. Something to do during these “quarantined times”.
The end of March, first week of April, we are going to trail it somewhere fun every day it is safe from crowds and doesn’t rain.
April 3, we did a different cross-section of Piety Hill/Cloverdale Loop (I didn’t record this particular day but above is a photo.
April 2, we revisited a section of Princess Ditch, and while the trailhead we passed on the way was filled with mountain bikers enjoying Mule Mountain, etc., the Stoney Gulch Trailhead parking lot was ours alone. We passed one fellow trail runner and she smiled and kept her distance. This was a BEAUTIFUL section, so many flowers, and more.
April 1, no fooling, we went to the Guardian Rock trail in Whiskeytown NRA, and the only others we saw were leaving the parking spot as we arrived. Yes, the boys are getting oder, so there was some drama getting back up the rocks from a visit to the creek beach area. You’ll have to watch or scroll through the video to see how that was resolved. Again, a beautiful day.
In the past week, we’ve also been to Mt. Shasta Mine Loop, and Salt Creek Trail, too. (The latter has no video, alas operator error on the GoPro. I will revisit soon, though it was a bit more crowded than I prefer so maybe we will wait until post-quarantine). All short and sweet, as challenging as need be. And all buoy the spirits and the soul.
So if you can’t get out there and enjoy it, by all means, stroll along with us on these videos. I’ll upload more as we go along the happy trail to destiny.