This is the first of a series of posts about trips and excursions we made during 2021.
Since 2018, my friend Doug and I have been backpacking together once a year. Typically, we hike in Joshua Tree National Park, near his home and our corporate headquarters, which I would visit monthly. COVID-19 canceled our 2000 hiking plan (although I did manage to take a day hike in the park before the world shut down). By fall, it was obvious that the pandemic was going to extend into 2021. As the daylight diminished at the end of the year, we began making plans for a reunion trip. We aimed for a destination midway between us, and selected Capitol Reef National Park.
I spent the winter looking forward to this trip. Vaccines became available as the days grew longer, and by May there was an increase in sunshine, both literal and emotional. As I drove to meet Doug in Torrey, Utah, I had been fully vaccinated for four days. After the isolation of the previous year, it felt like life was starting again.
And what better way to start it than a backpacking trip in the desert?
After the long drive, we finished our trip planning with burgers and beers. The long-awaited, long-needed adventure would begin the next day.