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A Post-Quarantine Download

October 7, 2020 - Life in the time of COVID-19 has been interesting.

With the world slowly, and cautiously beginning to open back up, many of us are looking for normalcy in the form of outdoor recreation. The word recreate came about in the 14th Century to denote “refreshment or curing of a sick person.” During a pandemic, being outside can give you an emotional boost and help you feel less stressed or depressed. The need to recreate outdoors becomes a top priority for many.


blog_10.7.20-jen.jpgAre the hiking and biking trails a little more crowded this year as a result? Yes.

Have there been more boats on Lake Winni? Absolutely, but it’s nice to see people getting out there and refocusing on what really matters: quality time.

There has never been a better time to live in the woods; I have truly come to appreciate what a privilege it is to live in the Lakes Region with the ability to drive two minutes to my local (and less popular) hiking trail and let the dogs run and stretch while I get my blood pumping. I am able to take a drive on back roads with no agenda other than to stop somewhere and pick up some apple cider donuts, or pack up the canoe and paddle around one of the many local lakes to throw in a line. Social distancing isn’t as hard in these parts, thank goodness.

Scenic Lift Rides

Last weekend, Gunstock spun the Panorama Express Quad lift and loaded guests for the first time since March for Scenic Lift Rides. As I walked up to the chair the lift staff made all the safety precautions that are new this year:

  1. Spacing guests multiple chairs apart
  2. Tracking loaded chairs to clean
  3. Spraying chairs with Bioesque Solutions immediately after guests unloaded


As I reached the summit, I was pleased to see everyone socially distancing. The ones who hiked up stayed close to their group and they were truly appreciating the natural world around them. It seemed like a normal fall day on the summit with picnickers and people taking selfies.

As I took the lift down my eyes scanned along the tops of the trees in the Recoil Glades; some still green, some bright with fall color, others just beginning to turn. Despite the hundreds of times I’ve ridden up and down this mountain, on this chairlift, over the course of my life, it never gets old. A serene feeling always washes over me and I think of nothing other than, “Wow, I’m so lucky to be here.”


I’m grateful to live and work in the Lakes Region. As we head into winter let’s just take a look around and have an attitude of gratitude. Stay vigilant. Stay responsible. And let’s get back out there! The Pan is running Columbus Day Weekend for Scenic Lift Rides, with foliage nearing peak. After that, the next time it spins will be for skiing and riding!

~ Jen

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