May 8, 2020

Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events,
creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol

#sh*tkidssay

Kids book: I got dressed today all by myself did you?
4: No we don’t get dressed anymore

-- Professional Worrier , @pro_worrier_

weekly survival tip

Trash compactor bags . The one piece of gear you never knew you needed. And, may soon realize, you can never live without.

trail talk

You would be forgiven in the midst of the coronavirus crisis if you nearly forgot that a presidential election is just around the corner. The front pages of typical daily newspapers are nearly all virus updates all the time. But, November is coming and we will all have a critical choice to make when we hit the voting booth or fill-out our socially distanced mail-in ballots. That choice could include Stacey Abrams who, according to at least one survey in March, would be Biden’s best bet for a running mate. Don’t know much about her? Check out this Elle profile for a deeper dive into her background, activism and vice presidential ambitions. There’s a lot more to her than just losing the governor’s seat in Georgia. As the article aptly concludes: “In a world of social distancing, Abrams is a woman worth watching closely.”

And, in an ode to Mother’s Day, sixteen essays by mothers about the indelible ways motherhood changes us all. For your reading pleasure.

trail matters

Nature is a refuge. That’s surely true for us at iksplor and probably for most of you, too. And it’s never been more true than right now, when getting outside in some fresh air has become an indispensable part of lockdown survival. But, during a pandemic, what happens when nature gets crowded? That’s the question at the heart of this piece in the Christian Science Monitor , which explores how cities across the country are managing trail systems in the covid era. The key, it seems, is finding some balance between the mental and physical health benefits of accessing the outdoors, with the new safety requirements this virus demands. It’s not an easy balance, and irresponsible use could spell the end of access. But, with care and attention, nature can remain a balm in these troubling times.

trail mix

We like to use this section to share ideas about how to get our kiddos out onto the trail, keep them there happily, or otherwise (especially in lockdown) help entertain them. But this week, we thought we’d share a slightly different perspective from this recent piece in The New York Times . What about not managing our children’s activities really at all, but letting them do it for themselves? Children are remarkably creative and resourceful – the precise qualities that make childhood so magical. And, with enough freedom and trust from us, they can put those skills to good use by either helping us in the tasks we need to complete, or (don’t faint!) actually entertaining themselves. If we can take some cues from other cultures and loosen the reins, the benefits, for us all, seem well worth the effort.

yard sale