Winter Backpacking

On Valentine’s Day weekend I did a couple nights of backpacking in the Linville Gorge. One night, temperatures dipped down to 20 degrees. Being outdoors, watching every step as you tread over rough terrain and focusing on staying dry and warm is a great way to live in the present.

This issue of All About Women is going to press amid uncertain times. As I write, many in our community have already had their lifestyles and livelihoods upended, at least temporarily, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the measures to control its spread and other rapidly evolving impacts.

A lot could change in the next couple of weeks, by the time you’re reading this. Right now, I’m feeling hopeful, while nervous, and grateful, while disappointed. Nervous, of course, for obvious reasons, and disappointed, because like many, events that I’ve planned for and looked forward to for months have been canceled, albeit for a very good reason.

Many, many people are doing what is necessary to save lives, often at great personal cost and sacrifice. I’ve never witnessed anything like this in my life, but the response from our community and the greater global community gives me hope for humanity and our ability to weather more storms and challenges in the future.

And, it’s the first day of spring, and it FEELS like it. The sun came out for the first time in days and I opened my doors and windows to let the fresh air in. I needed that — I think we all needed that.

I hope if anything, our newest issue gives you a few moments of respite from thinking about the virus, which can be stressful and overwhelming. Give yourself time to take your mind off of it — read this magazine, lose yourself in a book, enjoy a TV show or movie. Listen to a non-news-related podcast and go for a walk or a run.

Note that we once again include a guide to High Country summer camps in our March-April edition, with the optimism that they will be able to be held this year.

In the coming weeks, I encourage you to read your local newspapers to find out about ways to help support our local businesses, nonprofits and families. They’re going to need all of our help to get back on their feet.

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