It is hard to believe it has now been a full year since covid made its introduction. I'm thankful for the outdoors outlet the PNW has provided me - new hobbies, travel, and exploration - during an otherwise difficult year.
This post marks one year since I was told to "stay home" from my workplace. For the past year my office has been the recliner in my living room (yes, the old man kind). I sit with my laptop on my lap (hey, it's called a laptop for a reason). At the time I remember being so short sighted and thinking this would all be over in a couple weeks. That is one reason I never got any actual office equipment. By the time I realized the situation would be longer-term, I had adjusted to the no fancy technology and recliner/laptop setup. Hey, it works for me!
On one hand time always flies by. I've adjusted to the new way of life: working from home, having fewer commitments, no social obligations, and enjoying the opportunity to spend more time on hobbies or outdoors activities. On the other hand it is tough that I have not seen (or barely seen) my family and most of my Washington co-workers and friends in the past year. With everything that took place the past year, I hope we can all find the few silver linings and saving graces that kept us going.
For me, my primary saving grace has been the outdoors...and the PNW has no shortage of outdoors outlets. While social interactions and planned activities took a pause, the past year gave me the time and flexibility to really explore my new home in the PNW. For that I am grateful. I was able to expand my outdoors activities - hiking, backpacking, kayaking, ferry rides to islands, bicycling, skiing, walks around the city, and more. Another silver lining (counterintuitively) is that I was able to build a few deep friendships in my "covid bubble" the past year. When some of life's distractions are eliminated and you don't have as many regular human interactions, the few socially distant walks or activities with a friend just mean more.
I am constantly thankful to live where I do. And I am thankful to have had the privilege to explore and travel the Pacific Northwest outdoors "covid safely" over the past year. For the vast majority of my outdoors activity time I am not near anyone else. However, I always wear a neck gaiter or cheap mask for the few brief and passing encounters. At the risk of embarrassing myself, here are a few outtake mask pictures from my past year of outdoors adventures.