Hiking Bob: We have met the enemy, and it is us 

We are living in trying times, and working our way through uncharted territory, as the nation - the world - tries to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Colorado has joined the ever-increasing list of jurisdictions that have issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

While almost anywhere else you can think of, where tight or large groups congregate, has been closed or canceled, one thing that has remained available to us is our ability to enjoy outdoor recreation, such as hiking, running and cycling.  But, enjoying outdoor recreation carries with it some individual responsibility, common sense, and a commitment to following the temporary rules set forth by the governor's order. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also pleading with people to MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE from each other. Simply put, one of most effective ways to stay healthy and to slow the spread of the virus is to maintain a "social distance" of at least 6 feet from each other. 

The 6-foot safe distance isn't just for indoor activities; it also applies to the outdoors.

click to enlarge covid19_outdoorrecposter.jpg

But frankly, when it comes to safe outdoor recreation, we as a community can do better: Too many people are congregating in parks, too many people are hiking in tight groups, and too many people are parking in neighborhoods and along narrow roads, impeding traffic.  In the desire to engage in outdoor recreation for both or physical and mental well-being, many are actually making things worse. 

So let's think our way through this and be smart. Follow these suggestions, and also these from the Colorado Springs Parks Department.  If you go to a park for a hike and see hordes of people and a full parking lot, go somewhere else, or come back later. Don't add to the mayhem. If you're not sure where to go, the Trails and Open Space Coalition has a #GetOutSpreadOut campaign to help you find a place, or you can scroll through my previous columns for trails, most of which are in more out-of-the-way places.

Be Good. Do Good Things.
Wash Your Hands. Maintain a Social Distance.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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