Hands down the best day I’ve had so far during this pandemic. Just chilled all morning, while the weather was a little icky. Once it started to clear up, I decided I was going to go outside today, and I wanted to start it off strong.
So, I’m one of those people that listens to music or podcasts when they shower. I opened the podcast app and was reminded that I missed the newest episode to the Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema. Obviously, THAT was what I needed to listen to as I cleansed and prepped myself to go outside.
Dr. Thema was PREACHING in this episode. Oh man. Definitely needed that. As she was wrapping up the podcast, she invited her listeners to let her guide us in a quick meditation. At this point, I was packing up my backpack with essentials for being clean and safe on my adventure. Had already texted my doctor to let her know my plan of riding my bike (coming off of a concussion that occurred the Wednesday before the mountain shut down). I literally said out loud “I mean, I guess I’ll join,” as I grabbed a couch pillow to sit on my hardwood floor. That meditation just powered me right up.
So, I grabbed my bike, carried it out of my condo, and went on an adventure!
I have no words to describe how great it felt to get outside and get active. I hopped on the core trail (a main biking/walking trail that runs alongside the river) and rode down a bit, eyeing the river the whole time. Ended up stopping at a spot to rest and reflect, and realized that there seemed to be a string of potentially good fishing holes right in that area and not a person in sight; so I know what I’m doing and where I’m going tomorrow.
Hopped back on my bike to rode back up the core trail. Took another break at the Rotary Park. Watched people wander by, just taking advantage of this extra time to just soak in nature. There were a couple fly fishers on the water that I could see from my seat at the pavilion. Thought the one closest to me was for sure going to land something, then a mom, kid, and dog bike up. They parked their bikes on the other side of the pavilion and walked down the path towards the river. The pupper was super hesitant to get in the water, despite mom’s go ahead. Mom then noticed the dude fishing and realizes why the doggo, Elsa, kept looking back at her like ‘are you sure?’ At that point, I knew that things were about to get unfortunate for this fisherman.
Dog starts running around and playing in the snow. It was really cute. The kid, no more than eight and still wearing their bike helmet with a spiked cover, throwing snowballs to the dog. Real Disney-like family moment. Then mom says that they should head back home soon. That’s when everything started to go downhill for anyone that was fishing within at least 30yds of this movie scene. Kid starts to throw snowballs towards the river; it was just a matter of time. Sure enough, dog starts jumping around in the river. Mom’s trying to get the kid to stop so the dog can get out of the water, but this little punk would just keep throwing ‘one more’. I feel for those flyfishers, though. Like, all the fish in that area are immediately done feeding. They should just pack up and go. I decided to pack up and go.
Cruised on over to the Wildhorse Marketplace to support local business and check in on my Cruisers family. A couple of our top shift leads were on the line, along with the Captain. It was really great to see them, and I obviously helped myself to an açaí smoothie while I was there. Business was obviously really slow, but today was one of the better days they’ve had since the town shut down.
While I was crafting my smoothie, Coach O. who owns McKnights, the bar next door, pops his head in. With all the changes happening right now, the liquor policies are going absolutely wild, but he realized that he was now able to logically open back up, thus saving local bars. He decided to begin selling ‘takeout drinks’ as he worked on figuring out plans to get a cook and a bartender in to begin offering some work for his employees while also trying to pull in a little bit of money to pay the bills.
“I could go for a takeout beer right now!” one of them said, which then turned our dreams into reality. They used their cash tips for the day to buy four beers for us, and another one later for the owner of the gourmet grab-and-go next door. Coach comped some shots for the three of us messengers while Cap held down the shop. The two leads had to get back to work and finish a few things since they were still on the clock, and I hung out and chatted with Coach. The cool part about this pandemic is how much we’re all coming together as a community. This is why I absolutely love living in the ‘Boat.
It’s weird to think that logistically, cops can’t even say anything to you anyway. I sat outside of Cruisers with a takeout beer from McKnights, but because I rode a bike, I needed to drink my Harp and my smoothie right there. If a cop were to roll by, they would probably just wave; maybe roll down the window and chat with us. Emergency responders in this town LOVE Cruisers. “No rules! I love this!” I miss my work buddies.
After that, I went home to just chill and do some laundry. One of my best friends, Carrie, and I have been trying to see each other for so long. You may remember Carrie Ann from this baby madness, as we roll up on her daughter’s first birthday in a couple weeks. We made a plan for me to go over and hang out for a little. I rode my bike down the hill to her condo, parked my ride on their front porch and walked to the back patio. She came outside while the husband put the baby to bed. We simply just sat across from each other with a table in between, stayed safe, and just hung out and chatted. It was such a great way to cap off my day.
Much of the beginnings of our conversation was me asking about how she was doing. Not only is she raising an infant during all of this, but she’s also a grade school teacher. Like, double whammy. There was a point where she looked me dead in the eyes and said “Nia. This is just my first year.” Reality immediately sank in as we reminisced on the fact that she was just finishing up her teaching certs, buying a condo, and having her first child, all just a year ago. She was offered a full time teaching position last summer and couldn’t pass on the offer, despite being a new mom and wife (I married them in October of 2018). This is her first year as a school teacher and mother, and COVIS-19 shows up. Think about how much of a badass that immediately makes her. I went on a Facebook rant on my respect for educators, especially in a time like this. So, cheers to them!
Okay, it’s way past my bedtime so I should pull all my thoughts back and close this thing up. Need to get some rest. I’ve got some fish to go catch tomorrow! Be well, friends.
**All photos are screen grabs from my own social media.