Coronavirus Sucks: Missing My Favorite European Hikers

As an acknowledgment, the coronavirus pandemic affects me in relatively minor ways. I’m lucky. I’ve managed to avoid catching the virus, and I can still hike. Still, recent news has devastated me.

Missing My Hiking Partner

A certain German hiker found his way into my thru-hiking story in 2018. I moved to Germany to be with him last year. I was going back to Germany to spend some time with him before I leave for my second PCT attempt this April. Then, of course, Wednesday night I got hit with this travel ban bombshell.

I already postponed our plans to start a life together so I could do this crazy trail. Now this travel ban plus a growing list of countries closing their borders postpones my plans even further. Much as I don’t want to accept it, it looks like I won’t see him at all until I’ve finished my hike. We were supposed to be apart for two half-year periods broken up by a two-week visit. Now it looks like we’ll spend an entire year apart. It’s longer than we’ve yet spent without seeing each other.

The Trail Will Go On, Despite Coronavirus

I am devastated. But I am lucky. My hike can go on. And in this age of the internet, a long-distance relationship is relatively easy. It sucks to not get to see him in person, it sucks a lot. But at least I can call and text and even video chat from trail anywhere I have reception.

I send my deepest sympathies to all the international hikers. I’d been looking forward to making new friends, and seeing old friends like 4-Mil, who was also planning his second attempt this year. Who knows, maybe the situation will change for the better. In the meantime, I’ll send you a virtual hiker fistbump from afar. 

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