On March 23rd, I decided to take a trip into Yellowstone National Park, a short drive from my current location. I had a feeling it may be my last trip into the park for awhile and I was right. The following is a story I wrote for a new podcast I am a part of, which is shared below. Whether you read it all or listen to the audio, I thank you for your time and for listening to my thoughts. You can subscribe to the A Life Outside Podcast here.
We’ve started the next 100 episodes with a special SingleTrack, after dark. What was different? We added drinks and recorded after the sun set. Mathias ran a 5k around his house, which led us to a conversation about how to interact with the trail running community during Covid-19. We chat about Unbreakable: the Western States 100 feature film, hear about Doug getting back to running after an injury and finally get to incredible recipes to make.
And just like that, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are closed. In a joint press releases by Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, it was announced that the roads would be closed due to COVID-19 concerns from the gateway communities surrounding the iconic parks. The following, in italics, is a press release directly from both National Parks:
The following is a press release directly from Olympic National Park officials. While the park’s trails are still open, please think twice before traveling to Olympic National Park. Traveling outside of your community is putting the small towns around the Olympic Peninsula at risk for an outbreak of Covid-19. Stay local for your outdoor adventures. These lands and trails will be waiting for you when this is all over.
For this 100th episode, amidst a global pandemic Doug and Mathias don’t have much to celebrate. Trail races are cancelled all over the world, people are discouraged to congregate and Mathias is slowly running out of flour…
But, we still have each other, we still have adventures out our back door, we still have daylights,
and cups of coffee…
UPDATE: MANY NATIONAL PARKS ARE NOW CLOSED.
Please check your local park before heading out.
While many National Parks are closing campgrounds, visitor centers and other areas where social distancing is not an easy thing to do, there is some good news from the Department of Interior. During the Covid-19 outbreak, the National Park Service will be temporarily suspending park entrance fees starting on March 18, 2020. How long they will be free to enter remains an unknown.
Olympic National Park has released a statement about the status of the park during the Covid-19 pandemic. In brief, all visitor centers are closed and Hurricane Ridge has suspended all winter operations. Not mentioned in the following press release is that the Makah Tribe has restricted access to Shi Shi Beach, as the trail is accessed through tribal lands. The following was sent by Olympic National Park on March 17th, 2020.
An update I sent out a couple days ago to all our trail racers. If you’d like to stay informed and get some irregular updates on our trail races Wild Kaiser, Little Backyard Adventure, and Rock Candy Mountain Run sign up here. Thank you!
Let me begin by making the assumption that no one who’s reading this lives under a rock (although that would be a pretty safe place to be at right now). We’ve all been glued to the news. Things are crazy and everything is changing by the hour.
Many of the popular early season races are being cancelled here in the PNW and worldwide and the global COVID-19 pandemic will have an effect on our races too.
We can “bearly” contain our happiness with this news! The first official grizzly bear sighting of 2020 has occurred in Yellowstone National Park! Despite a ton of snow and ridiculously frigid temperatures, the inevitable return to warmer weather is showing signs of occurring. We are a ways from wildflowers and open roads, but the bears are “waking up.”