April 8, 2020, Sitka, AK
My quarantine ended last night and I resumed my walks today — at a social distance. When I first got up it was blowing and raining and I thought “no way.” But this afternoon I saw a sucker hole and decided to go for it. The sun didn’t last but the rain held off and the wind had died down. The bright overcast brought out the greens in the moss.
Getting used to this brave new world of social distancing is going to take some getting used to. I wanted to test my social distancing abilities on my walk, but I wanted to ease into it. I didn’t walk at the national park because the parking lot was full, so I drove out to the Starrigavan estuary trail. There was only one other car in the parking lot. What are the chances I would run into the other walker? 100% it turns out.
So, I put on my mask, the one Suzi made me of silk. I had tested it at home. As soon as I got it on my glasses fogged up. So here I am, mask on, told not to touch my face, needing to wipe my glasses and adjust my mask. I take the glasses off, wipe them off and put them back on. They fog. I adjust the mask. I take the mask off. Lots of face touching.
Then I see the occupants of the other car approaching me. It was a family, kids and all. So, I put the mask back on and hugged the edge of the trail, which at this point is a boardwalk with railings. I tried to signal the approaching family to stop and I would walk into one of the niches that they place along the boardwalk for a bench and photography. I have never been good at charades. The father just waved and the family walked by. I failed at my first social distancing encounter. And I couldn’t see.
When I try to take pictures the camera viewfinder also fogs up when I have the face mask on.
When I got home, I called my friend Dave, who’s a doctor and wears glasses. He gave me some hints. They work inside but I am not sure if they will work outside.
Meanwhile it sounds like Iwo Jima down the valley. Either the shooting range is open or a lot of people are shooting up the Starrigavan Valley. There are lots of trucks riding up and down the Nelson Logging Road across Starrigaven creek heading toward the shooting range. I often hear shooting when walking Starrigavan but it seems like there is more than usual. I’m thinking that the range may be a great way to work out the frustrations of social distancing.
There was more activity outside than I expected. Lots of people were walking their dogs, lots were walking their kids, and lots were just walking, both in family groups or solo. There were also more cars on the road than I thought there would be. Once I was out, I drove, not only to Starrigavan, but out to Silver Bay and Whale Park to see if any whales were feeding on the herring in the sound. I didn’t see any.
Suzi also got out, to the grocery store, where she reports than most people were not wearing masks, although she was. No cloth bags allowed so we are back to plastic. We had a lot of bags to carry up the stairs after the grocery run.
So ends day one of our new regime, not quarantined but socially distant. Here are the pictures.