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Hiking Bob: Take a minute to take a break 

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I'll start this week's column with this caveat: The crisis with COVID-19 is certainly the most pressing issue in the country right now.  Many are out of jobs, many are sick, and the worst is yet to come. I get it. I'll admit to my own varying levels of anxiety over all this, and the 24-hour news cycle doesn't help our collective psyche. Without a doubt, it is an unprecedented crisis, and there is no getting away from it. Let's face it — life is hell right now.

But, there's also this: This will all end, and when it does, life will return to normal. And if we're lucky, things will get back to normal at about the time we're getting ready to go on our summer camping or hiking trips. Trips that we had started to plan before all hell broke loose.

So lets take a break for a few minutes.

For just a few minutes, turn off the TV (or at least, the news), don't look at your news feed on Facebook, ignore the ping on Twitter, mute the text messaging on your phone. Got it? OK, now imagine where you want to go this summer. What National Park you want to visit, which 14er you want to climb, which river you want to fish, which epic backpacking trip you want to do, which trail you want to hike. Imagine bright blue skies and clean fresh air and crystal clear running streams and fields of wildflowers. And for a few minutes, plan the trip. Get out the map and examine the route. Take a look at your inventory of fishing lures, take out your backpacking gear and see what you'll need.

Don't feel guilty for taking a few minutes to do this. You know you need this break.

Take a few minutes. Take a break from the news. Because this crisis will end, and you will get to have all the great adventures you have just dreamed about.  And you need the break.

Be good. Do good things.

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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