Shelly has never been to Europe, and I had a trip to visit my uncle in London followed by some lazy days in Sicily lined up before the pandemic hit. We of course cancelled the trip, and plan to do it next year under the assumption things will be different by then. We really had no backup plan for a vacation, and I start harvesting wheat for agricultural research soon, and so sadly had given up on an interesting break in the near future.
That all changed when my daughter contacted me for the first time in eight months and was willing to meet Shelly for the first time and discussing the lonely nature of being in Salt Lake City during the pandemic and wishing for company. Despite the rising numbers in Utah, we planned a trip, and it ended up turning into a visit to see her friend in Colorado as well. For Shelly this was a first visit to the red rock of Utah and the southwest National Parks.
So seven states, 2500 miles and lots of masking up and purelling up, and seeing some of the states that are currently seeing large spikes. We negotiated four national parks, and some lonely campgrounds, and I think made a very good combination of distancing and masking to protect ourselves, and were able to see first hand, why some areas are having problems. Some places it was just not possible to avoid people, and we often had to give a no to the stop, but quite a few were sparsely populated.
The lack of masks in some places was alarming. The theme seemed to be, that a place had to have been hit hard for people to take it seriously. The Navajo Nation was probably the best place to go, and they were hit hard early and you could see that masking and cleansing was a way of life for them now. Utah was probably the worst with us feeling like we were some kind of visiting aliens with our masks on except for a liberal area near the University of Utah where my daughter lives. Anyway, here is a sampler of one shot each from the National Parks we visited, with more to come.