Special needs parents like us—working to pay the bills plus caring for a family member requiring almost constant care—means working the equivalent of two full time jobs. The pandemic shutdown means our severely autistic son has been home 24/7 for going on six months now. Caregivers of loved ones with any type of exceptional challenge face similar stresses, without a moment to let our guard down.
Our plan for a temporary reprieve? A two night stay at a remote lighthouse up the coast, a quiet place with no cell phone or internet connection, planned many months ahead. A weekend away is a rare treat for our family, filled with challenges but also a much-needed change of pace. Nature is our sanity saver.
As we prepared for our long awaited road trip, California wildfires broke out. Not just scattered wildfires, but fires covering the whole state in toxic smoke, with part of our travel route along an evacuation zone. Not safe, and not fair to take up fire crew road space, we canceled.
Crushing disappointment? Of course. A rare break in our grueling routine is like a watering hole in the desert. But like everyone else, we have to adjust to shifting winds. The harsher winds at the moment are those fueling the fires burning away homes, businesses and even lives. Or the wind and rain pummeling hurricane territory. Or the ongoing pandemic. We are fortunate to have a safe place to hunker down and look forward to future stress-busting opportunities.
Something unexpected can waylay our best laid plans even in the best of times, much less our current era of the pandemic, political and social turmoil, and natural calamities. The ability to adapt to unexpected change is a hard-earned but vital survival tool.
May we all find moments of tranquility regardless of our surroundings, even if it’s right in our own homes with the windows closed to keep out the smoke.
This week’s Hike Notes are from the archives, Mussel Rock and Paragliders, a hidden gem featuring stunning ocean views, where graceful gliders sometimes dot the sky.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 16): Mussel Rock and Paragliders
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Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.