Off to the Midwest!

Since I walked out the doors of graduate school 15+ years ago, year-to-date 2020 has been the longest stretch of time that I’ve gone without taking a vacation. I figured since my original travel plans all got cancelled, I might as well work and pad the ol’ emergency fund in case disaster strikes this winter and we have to shut down again.

Despite the pandemic, Mrs. Lite and I still wanted to do some traveling this year, so next week we’ll be doing a driving trip north to visit some family members and spend part of the time in the national forests in the southern part of Indiana, which I had no idea even existed until just a few months ago. The goal is to be outdoors and around as few people as possible. We have a list of hiking trails we’ve researched, but other than that it’ll be a relaxed, relatively unstructured vacation. Even if we don’t necessarily do anything earth shatteringly interesting, it’s going to be good to get away for a little while.

Since we’re taking the car for this trip, I could get lazy with the packing and just take a big bag with me, but I decided against that. When there are additional variables at play, like a big bad virus wreaking havoc on all the humans, there’s a benefit to keeping things simple. This is a warm weather vacation, so I’ll be taking my usual pack list, plus a few other unique-to-the-times items:

  • Plenty of hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray for the hiking trails (I researched this ahead of time)
  • Masks. A cotton one for the virtually zero risk outdoor hiking trails if we run into anyone who looks afraid and paranoid, and a few surgical masks and KN-95s for indoors and rest stop bathroom breaks where there’s an actual risk of exposure.
  • Cooler full of beer. We’re gonna drink some, so might as well pick out what we like ahead of time and take it with us.

I hope everyone else has been able to do something enjoyable this summer even if primary plans got put on hold. Stay safe people!


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