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September 11, 2020

We're Back! We've taken a few weeks off to recharge, but we're returning to our regular schedule. So, for those of you new here, welcome to our Weekly Summit! Sent each Friday, we do our best to summarize a mountain's worth of stories, current events, creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol. Feel free to reply to this email with any feedback!


"I just feel like icecream would help"
Charlotte - 5 years old


weekly survival tip

Your child is sniffling. Nose is running. Maybe even coughing a little. Is it a cold, or…how awful…could it be…covid??? With cold and flu season approaching, it may be hard to know. Here’s a deeper dive that could help.

trail talk

School is back in session and likely, or at least partially, it’s happening from a desk or table or couch or cushion at home. The laptop is flipped open, headphones are plugged in, and the video is ON. Then you, or another parent, mistakenly walks past in a robe, hair still a mop, or while on a work call talking rather loudly, or having a too-tense conversation with your partner…Next? Hand, meet face. In the age of Zoom school the potential for embarrassing moments and privacy breaches are real and all around us. So, how not to get caught, literally, with your pants down in front of your kid’s full second grade class?? First of all, ALWAYS assume the video and mic are on. Next, read this Washington Post piece for more tips on how to manage and maintain your family’s privacy during this most unusual academic year.

trail magic

Two years ago Tahlequah, an orca whale, became famous after she swam for 17 days carrying her stillborn calf with her. Some whale watchers called it a stirring emotional display that demonstrated the ability of other species to grieve. Others balked, calling that “an inappropriate anthropomorphism.” Either way, Tahlequah has now successfully given birth to another calf and was spotted swimming with it last weekend in waters near the border between Washington state and British Columbia. Whales in this area have long suffered the affects of environmental stressors including decreasing Chinook salmon populations, their main source of food. Such nutritional deficiencies negatively impact the success of whale pregnancies, so researchers are celebrating this one and hoping the young orca continues to thrive.

Among the Maasai people of Kenya, men rule the day. Theirs is a patriarchal culture where women have traditionally been all but excluded from leadership and decision making roles. But eight women who form Team Lioness, a unit within the Olugului Community Wildlife Rangers (OCWR), are starting to shake up that old order. These women, the first in their families to be employed, are also the first crew of female wildlife rangers to patrol a 580-square mile area surrounding Amboseli National Park – a popular safari area 134 miles southeast of Nairobi. Although the covid-19 pandemic has forced them to remain at their posts and away from their families much longer than usual, the women are proud of their work and the changes they see it bringing to their community. “Before, we were not allowed to speak to the men around, we are not allowed to speak to our fathers in the table, to share or to eat supper or breakfast all together,” one of the women rangers said. “We were just thinking like we are nothing to the community, we are just fit for fetching water, giving birth. But now we've broken the taboo that we can work with the men.”

trail mix

Fall is coming (or, with the snow and dropping temps that hit parts of the west earlier this week, perhaps already here) and winter is right around the corner. With it, a big question looms: how are we going to manage life during the covid-19 pandemic when gathering outdoors gets so much frostier and, therefore, trickier? Safe, socially-distanced, outside get togethers have been a major mental health boost throughout these last few pandemic-infused months. And while we can still take winter walks or runs and, for those of us with access, ski, snowshoe and head out on fat-tire bike rides, socializing in other ways – dining out (meaning in??) is definitely going to be fraught. There aren’t a lot of good answers here on how to do it. But a few strategies to minimize our risks might include indoor air cleaners – for those times when seeing other people inside is unavoidable – and definitely, definitely getting the flu shot. Schedule yours today.

yard sale

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