COVID and the Colorado Canyons

Dear Maia and Isaac,

It seems COVID-19 has taken over my life the last two weeks. The school I teach is closed, as I know yours it, too. My nursing students need a whole new plan in order to finish their term. It has been crazy, long days of work this week as I work to fill the pipeline with new healthcare workers to help combat the virus. I am running the whole nursing program out of my little home office at the moment – which is a huge shift.

Mcinnis Canyons, Fruita, CO

It’s been a hard week because my beloved spring break road trip has evaporated into nothingness. I love my road trip. It brought me to life when I realized that my life had changed in a way that I didn’t want it to change.

Mcinnis Canyons, Fruita, CO

Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with hiking out in nature. There is something about red canyons that brings me to life just like my road trip.

Colorado National Monument

Today, the pups and I drove up to McInnis Canyons (see my Fall Break blogs) near Fruita, CO. It was a little cold and rainy, so our hike was only a couple of miles. But, it was still a breath of fresh, clean air.

Colorado National Monument

When I pulled up in the trail head parking lot my heart felt the JOY of an adventure. It was a wonderful escape of worrying about the students and the virus. If we need 3 positive emotions for every negative emotion to flourish then flourishing will be hard for awhile. That makes my hikes even more important.

Colorado National Monument

I am in the high-risk age group. That seems strange to me . . . I don’t think of myself as being that old most of the time. The virus is near to you and near to me. The National Guard came and they tested everyone in the next county. The county on the other side of us has a very heavy outbreak for the population. A nurse-practitioner (like your mom) and skier there came home from a trip sick – she couldn’t get tested. She saw patients, went skiing . I think that is the case in these ski areas that surround us.

Colorado National Monument

There is a shortage of tests. There are probably a lot more cases here than we know about. I remember through all of this diagnosing the first case of HIV in my county. Yesterday, we got our first COVID-19 patient. I worry . . about you, about me. I need my moments of resilience in the canyons.

Dominguez Canyon

We got pretty wet on the hike after the rain started. The pups were not happy. Maizzy is sick all the time now and she rides in my pack. She got a shower – the rain feels clean. The desert feels clean.

Dominguez Canyon

After that, we drove home over the Colorado National Monument. The clouds were very cool, and the red rock was vibrant. There started to be a rainbow, but it didn’t grow. Maybe it needs more positive emotions to flourish, too.

Dominguez Canyon

Last week, we hiked Dominguez Canyon . . . another favorite and a tradition for St. Paddy’s day. Everything seems so different now. I crave the familiar and the canyons. Happy Second of Spring!

Dominguez Canyon

Love, Grandma Hartt

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