Last updated on October 25, 2020
I recently tallied up the average number of hours I am out of the house doing recreation this year. This does not count this year’s hottest social event, mainly, going to a store and waiting for the kind people to load my vehicle with my goods so that I don’t have to risk going inside the store. With heart disease, I want to keep the endothelial cells of my arterial walls as intact as possible. With as much as COVID-19 loves to tear that up like a hockey rink, well, I can’t afford much risk-taking.
But yeah, the number was shocking for a guy who is never at home save the dinner hours, rarely on the weekends, and sometimes for weeks at a time on a normal year. I’ve been out of the house only 7% of the time during any given 7 day week. Much of it spent in one room. After I double-checked my math I was like, damn, no wonder I’ve struggled with depression as much as I have this year. I am making plans to alter as you’ll read toward the end of the post if I keep your interest long enough – and don’t offend you in the process (it’s happend).
With all of this solitude, I had to get creative on how to get out of the house to be outdoors this year. Mainly, Saturday through Sundays for about 12 to 18 hours when my husband let me borrow his car for trips out to Great Seal State Park to go camping overnights. It was not until culinary boredom set in that I broke down and bought a cheap Coleman Classic two-burner propane stove. While this was possibly my last trip out there for the year, I gotta say, damn! This thing opens up all sorts of cooking possibilities for 2021.
I had a bunch of broccoli greens, a poblano pepper, some salmon, and corn grits from Yellowbird Foodshed staring me in the face for a week now. So, upon searching, I found the following recipes online which inspired last night’s dinner. It was probably one of the best things I’ve cooked both at camp, and possibly back home, all season. Highly recommended.
And yeah, I said this was probably my last trip out there this year. So what next? Well, I have a series of Ohio based backpacking trails I want to get back onto as the weather goes south. When summer loses its grip on fall or vice versa, the trails typically thin down as people start to hibernate for the coming winter season. That’s my hope anyway. While, digitally, I am anything but alone these days, physically, I may as well be a shut-in. It’s weird. And, I won’t lie, it’s caused me some measure of emotional distress this year. But I’m doing what I can to cope. Camping, cooking and, with any luck, a return to backpacking will help to continue to keep my heart just this side of the darkness. Off the bottle, as drinks are for celebration. 2020 continues to be devoid of reasons to celebrate so far and self-medication is no medicine at all. As we move onto the footsteps of the colder icy months ahead, backpacking should be a little easier to navigate than earlier this summer when I was shocked at how pregnants and overrun the trails actually were with stir-crazy people like myself. That was the moment I zeroed in on tiny little Great Seal State Park.
So it’ll be a return to trail food, which I will gladly sacrifice to go on those long walks in the woods that I’ve sorely missed in 2020. I hope that 2021 brings brighter news than this mishandled American horror show we’ve all had to endure (at best) or end up as casualties of the virus fight while the highest levels of American leadership fled, like cowards, while blaming the experts for doing what they do best. Shit that would have helped. We deserve, and the world deserves, so much better.
I choose to go hiking. I voted early, only once and legally as opposed to what Trump told his followers to do. I take comfort knowing that my vote was accepted and is now going to be counted. This is what I can do. Please do your part and vote.