The swine flu has Reason a little nervous about our bus ride to New Mexico. I'm little nervous, too.
So far, we've dug up some Purell. I don't want to get sick, but I'm glad for an excuse to use up and get rid of the Purell. Just to be cautious, I think I'll pick up some surgical masks from the drug store. Is that ridiculous? Probably. But it is no more ridiculous than treating every single person who buys a ticket on an airplane as a terrorist.
So is now a good time to sashay over to the Great Divide and gallivant through the mountains for no other purpose than our own gratification?
Sure, why not!
After all, I traveled abroad for two months after 9/11 without so much as a scratch. I hit Springer Mountain bound for Maine just as the US started bombing Baghdad in 2003. Remember how the media broadcast their flak-jacketed press members driving though the Iraqi sand for hours on end? At the time I wondered whether I had some civic duty in light of the impending war. Shouldn't I have been sacrificing, perhaps planting a victory garden or collecting scrap metal for the war effort? Nope. Bush said we should all keep shopping, so buy hiking gear I did. Did it matter a hill of beans whether I was at work or hiking the AT? Nope.
Well into the downslope of the housing bubble, Reason and I quit our very good jobs, packed up our stuff, and headed to California to hike the PCT. My business-savvy boss had been preparing for some sort of economic meltdown for at least half of my employment with him.
My boss was right on the mark. Was it a good time to give up our jobs to go hiking? Is there ever a good time?
We scrimped and saved and lived in crappy apartments crowded with (awesome!) roommates for four years in order to go hiking, so we made the time right for us.
It would be nice not to get swine flu on the way to the CDT, though.