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Alex's 48th State - The decision to go.

This year has been hard on everyone. We have lost loved ones, and could not attend funerals in

person. Physical contact (hand shaking, hugging friends, touching) has become taboo. Children aren't playing in bands, sports, scout meetings and campouts are cancelled. Each one of us must take into account the balance or imbalance in our lives, our own personal immune systems, and our mental health, and make a decision that is best for us. For some, it has been dinner out. For others, hugging a friend you haven't seen in months. For us, it was me taking Alex on a cross-country road trip.

This is how I did my best to protect us:

  1. We took the tent, cans of Lysol, containers of alcohol wipes, a cooler with meats and cheese and dry ice.

  2. We packed bags of dry goods - canned chicken, Sweet Baby Ray's, crackers, tortillas, bread, bagels, macaroni and cheese - did I mention that Alex has Celiac Disease and we don't eat gluten? (that's for another day)

  3. We took blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags.

  4. For me, we stay away from restaurants, unless to pick up food (drive throughs are okay, but always masked). We did sit outside in Puyallup, Washington with my niece, Abby, at a restaurant and were the only ones sitting out there.

  5. When we stayed in a hotel, we sprayed every contact point before touching ANYthing.

  6. Restrooms - we were in and out - lots of hand washing, sanitizing as soon as we got in the car.

  7. When we saw too many people at a place, we would NOT stop. (Mt. Rushmore in the rain was great, 2nd day was too crowded as we were leaving!)

  8. We wore masks EVERYwhere. Even where it was not required. Even when people looked at us funny. (Except that 1 time where I forgot!)

  9. When getting gas, paper towels, sanitized wipes, and hand sanitizer are your bff's!

  10. All check ins were done online, paid online, so limited in person contact. Alex waited until I had our spot or hotel key before he got out of the car so his contact was even more limited.

Setting these boundaries and guidelines, helped us feel confident and safe. We were able to travel with a plan of action, and comfortable to have a great time. Staying outside, doing outside activities was key for us as well. We were constantly googling places to see, things to do that were outside, or drive throughs (NW Trek in WA). By this time, August, places were adapting, curbside coffee, curbside meals, to go frozen drinks (Cody, WY). When I couldn't cook over a campfire in Ellenton, WA, although I had a melt down, it wasn't difficult to find food.


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