Appalachian Trail Countdown: Coronavirus, Collarbones, and Saying Ciao

It’s four weeks until we hit the Appalachian Trail, and things are getting real. We are excited to go, but there are a few unexpected hurdles we need to cross before we hit the trail. There’s also some unexpected sadness as we leave people behind and start our adventure without them.


Coronavirus Concerns

I am not concerned about encountering coronavirus on the trail, but the panic that is surrounding the spread of this virus has proved problematic to my planning. I’m searching for another source of dehydrated meat for my family’s dinners besides tuna pouches and beef jerky. I went to Mountain House to buy some of their meat-based meals. Uh oh! That was a big no-go as the food company has temporarily suspended ordering online. Even if I did order now, there is little chance I’ll get any food from them before my hike. The company has a huge backlog of orders to fulfill. I’m thinking creatively about meat now and dehydrating ground beef as an alternative to use in our foods.


The other area that’s been hit hard by coronavirus is hand sanitizer. There’s been an unexpected run on hand sanitizer in stores and online. Even my small-town Walmart is out of hand sanitizer. I tried Amazon and the prices were stupid expensive. Instead of having convenient bottles of hand sanitizer that are ready to pack, I had to fire up my DIY skills and make my own. It’s surprisingly cheap and easy.

Collarbone Injuries

Another major hurdle I have to face is an unfortunate collarbone injury. While snowboarding, my teen son took a tumble and fractured his collarbone. He will be fully healed by the time we start the trail but I expect he will have discomfort from his pack. We are planning on distributing his gear among all of us so he can just hike pack-free.

Ciao, Baby

skiing with friends

As much as I look forward to our adventure on the Appalachian Trail, I also will miss my summer exploits at home. We often go to concerts, camp for a weekend with friends, and hike as much as we can with other families. I am going to miss being part of these adventures. My kids are going to miss seeing their friends. Though we will have our own adventures, it’s sharing these experiences with others that makes hiking and other adventures so special.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar
    Judy : Mar 8th

    I think this is ridiculous and borders on child endangerment as she’s obviously Not prepared . Plus she can’t even decide if she has 6 or 7 kids.

  • Avatar
    David Fleischman : Mar 15th

    I have been planning a thru-hike of the CDT this year and am now starting to think that it may not be wise for many reasons regarding the virus. Will people be willing to give hikers rides into town. We are already seeing trail angels closing services and many businesses may not be able to stay open. Just wondering what others are thinking.

    • Avatar
      Kelly Hodgkins : Mar 16th

      My gut instinct tells me not to go at least not right away.


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