Coronavirus is all over the news. We live very close to one of the country’s largest concentrations of the virus, so we’re practicing “social distancing”. We’re working from home, avoiding unnecessary shopping and restaurants, and most recently, cancelling the vacation we were supposed to take this week. We planned to go to Tucson, Arizona, and Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Fortunately, the weather has been pretty good around here and we can go outside in some of our local parks to see some sunlight and stretch our legs. The parks are more full than usual; it seems like others have the same idea. We can do something fun while still staying more than six feet away from other people. (I imagine that coronavirus has been good for the phone sex industry.) When we do see others on the trails, they avoid eye contact and there’s much more suspicion than usual. It’s disappointing. I can’t believe that saying hello in a large open space, and then walking on, increases contagion risk.

Which is not to say that I don’t worry. For a few weeks, I’ve been feeling “off”. This could be due to staying indoors, drinking too much coffee, and staring at computer screens full of bad news. Or it could be that I’m sick. I don’t believe I’m very sick, though. So I stay in and wonder. Like a lot of the country, and maybe the world right now.

Wow, that sounds depressing.

Anyway, we are getting outside. New York’s state parks are beautiful, and this seems like something we can enjoy. Spending a lot of time in Harriman State Park and Rockefeller (Pocantico) State Park, which are fairly close by.

Waterfall in “Valley of Rocks”, Harriman SP
View of Island Pond from Lichen Trail, Harriman SP
Black Rock, Harriman SP

We actually like hiking in (the milder parts of) winter. Visibility is improved with the leaves down, there are fewer insects, and the temperature is bracing rather than oppressive. On longer hikes, it’s easier to escape what crowds there are.

So I recommend you all do the same, as long as you stay six or more feet away from us. But please say hello.