Lockdown drives people to the outdoors

Brooklyn Adams
Outdoor Activities Story

Friday, March 13, was the last known day of reality, no mask, no six feet apart, and last day of school in Sandy High School. This was the day when Oregon Gov. Kate Brown extended our one week spring break into two weeks that eventually turned into six months. 

Now to today, Friday Oct. 16, where the new reality is wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, and going to school in the comfort of our own home. Oregon schools six month vacation has turned into a six month lock down making due with only activities that are possible from home. This has everyone asking themselves what can I even do today?

This question can be answered in many different ways, but one that is a consistent winner is the outdoors, a place that social distancing is possible and masks aren’t required. It could be hiking, fishing/hunting, watching the sunset, water sports, or soon to come skiing/snowboarding. 

“I usually take a two week road trip with my daughter during the summer to National Parks and all sorts of fun places, but this year we canceled it because I wasn’t sure what would be open or closed. So instead, we did a bunch of little short trips to hike closer to home,” English teacher Tara Finnegan said. 

Finnegan bought a 1998 Ford van a few years back and has been adventuring with “Green Betty” ever since. She’s made numerous improvements to it to accommodate camping and it even has its own Instagram account, “The Adventures of Green Betty.”

The mad rush of everyone with the same idea of being in nature has skyrocketed the sales of outdoor gear, causing many companies to be sold out. Not only clothes, tents, paddle boards are sold out, but also recreational vehicles are one of the most popular products in the U.S. for summer 2020. 

“Dozens of new companies are popping up to rent or sell retrofitted sleeper vans, some now with year long wait-lists,” said Leland Gilimore about “van life” in an article in the New York Times. 

“The last few months have felt chaotic, and the van living sale is that there can be stability in constant motion. Coronavirus would be just a faint memory in a van on the open road,” said Gilmore, the founder of Benchmark Vehicles. Escaping from reality and coronavirus, it’s what we all need. Taking that deep breath of fresh air without a worry on your mind and that’s exactly what the outdoors can do for us. 

“My main point is that COVID not only pushed me outdoors, but it allowed me to visit nature close to home,” said Finnegan. COVID-19 has allowed hometown citizens to explore the great outdoors in our beautiful state and beyond.

Whether you’ve always been an outdoors enthusiast or it’s something new to you, it shows us how to appreciate where we live and the ability to escape from reality in the city.

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