Sorry to all but until I have some actual data on the spread and seriousness of the COVID-19 virus, I do not feel comfortable leading groups of us seniors into the woods. OLLI has cancelled all classes for April, and I support that decision.
I realize that outdoors is the absolute best place to be when people around us are sick, both for our mental and physical health, but for now I encourage you to walk solo. The health of OLLI members is too serious to endanger.
Some people feel unsafe in the woods by themselves. They worry that they are vulnerable to predatory people and animals. Let me say this about the subject.
If you truly feel unsafe, don’t do it. As far as predatory people and predatory animals are concerned, I recommend you carry the Sabre Red Pink Pepper Spray Keychain for Women available from Amazon for under ten dollars. Not only is it a very powerful pepper spray that will keep you safe from people, dogs, raccoons, etc. but Sabre donates part of it’s sales to fight breast cancer. I’m a big guy. I carry pepper spray.
I predict you will never use this product. It is simply for your piece of mind. Try it out once by spraying it on a tree, but I will tell you from experience MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT DOWNWIND.
The second reason people feel unsafe is they are afraid of getting lost. Pick well worn and marked trails and bring your cell phone. If possible tell someone you are going for a hike and where you are going, and let them know when you are out of the woods. I text my wife at the beginning and end of every hike.
I intend to start hikes again once I feel we can do them safely, both for ourselves and for other OLLI members.
See you in the woods!