Touring during a pandemic - Going Rogue 2020 - CycleBlaze

Touring during a pandemic

I planned this tour in 2019 to be deliberately local. The entire tour is in two counties (Josephine and Jackson) that border my home county (Douglas). By dumb luck it turned out to be well suited to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Overall I think this is a low-risk and responsible trip. I am coming from a rural area with few COVID cases and traveling in an adjacent rural area with few COVID cases. No long distance travel. No big cities. No buses, trains, or airplanes. Nowhere near a coronavirus hot spot. I am alone and social distanced most of the time.

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The tour began 13 days after the May 15 Phase 1 reopening in rural Oregon. Recreational travel was legal once again but many travel-oriented business were only just starting to reopen, struggling with burdensome new rules and few customers.

I reserved lodging before the pandemic and had to change the itinerary because the RV park/motel in Gold Hill quit renting motel rooms. Instead I made reservations at Best Western motels in Rogue River and White City. I didn't want to go to White City but it's only 3 miles off the Table Rocks loop.

I planned to do a jet boat excursion on the Rogue river, a 3.6 mile hike along the Rogue river to Rainie falls, a 4.8 mile hike to South Table Rock, and a hot soak at Jackson Wellsprings in Ashland. All of those things were closed when the tour started.

I carried a mask for the first time ever. I knew in advance that motels were open but breakfast buffets have disappeared and pools and hot tubs were closed. And I knew that many restaurants were only open for take-out service. Some things are less convenient but bicycle touring is still possible...

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