Coronavirus Canceled My Thru-Hike, but It Won’t Kill My Spirit
The coronavirus may have canceled my hike on the Appalachian Trail this year, but I’m not going to let it kill my spirit. Instead of being sad about not being on the trail, I’ve decided to stay positive and focus on some of the unexpected benefits of being home.
I am still preparing to backpack
When the coronavirus epidemic hit, I had nine pounds of meat that I needed to dehydrate before my thru-hike. I’m still processing it now, just at a slower pace. Since I don’t have to rush and package it all in a week, I can enjoy the process of cooking and dehydrating it. It’s fun playing with new flavors, and I get to turn some of it into jerky instead of dried meat pebbles.
I am still hiking the Appalachian Trail virtually
I am fortunate that there is a trail system right behind my house. It’s only three to four miles total, but it has a decent incline. It lets me get a breath of fresh air while maintaining a safe and healthy distance from people. There’s also have a treadmill that I can walk/run on that when I cannot get outside.
To keep me motivated about my thru-hike, I’m using an app called Walk the Distance to virtual hike the AT. I plan begin my hike with the app on April 1, which is when I would have started my NOBO thru-hike. If you want to follow or friend me, look for “mountainfrog” in the app. Let’s see if I can keep the same pace as if I was really hiking! Spoiler: probably can’t keep the same pace, but it will be interesting to find out how far I can go.
I picked up the ukulele again
I was playing the ukulele a lot at the end of last year and early this year. As my AT trip planning ramped up, my strumming time went down. Now that I don’t have to do the last-minute packing and preparing, I am enjoying this extra time on my instrument. My kids too have broken out the guitar and the keyboard for something new to learn.
I am enjoying time with my family
Because we had to be home by August, my hike was going to split apart my family. One of my children had to stay behind so she could finish college classes. My kids and I also would be separated from my husband. Now we get to spend some unexpected time together as a family. All our extracurricular activities are canceled. We are enjoying playing in the yard, riding bikes on the street, and hiking in the woods behind our house. On bad weather days, we bust out the board games and are teaching the youngest kids to cook.
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