I meander a bit before leaving the hotel. I stayed in the hotel an extra day yesterday, both to further understand the reality of Covid, and also to nurse my injured ankle.

The ankle is fine now, but with that pain gone, it has become clear that my toe is a problem.

You know, the toe I kicked into a rock while walking the unnecessary off-trail route over a mountain.

It's black and blue under the nail, and I wonder if I should give it another day.

No. These types of injuries take weeks to heal. If I end up losing the nail, then so be it.

Get moving.

I take my prepackaged priority mailbox and begin the trek out of town, with a stop at the post office. I'm sending my wide sleeping pad and pot and stove back home.

Cooked food is for the weak.

And half a pound reclaimed is a prize worthy of the gods.

Half-way there, a man pulls up, clears his seat, and announces that he'll drop me off at the post office. He knows I'm a hiker, and he wants to help out.

Before he even opens his car door, I can see what he's doing.

It's fascinating, because he's an older gentleman, at a high risk for Covid, and he has no concern whatsoever.

I thank him for his offer: Hey thanks! But this walk is part of the trail, I have to step the steps.

He understands, and says he'll see me at the post office, since he's going there too.

To be honest, I wouldn't have gotten in anyway. I could be an asymptomatic carrier right now, and he could be one of the statistically unlikely few that has a complete respiratory failure.

Unlikely, but I won't have it be my fault if it happens anyway.

We talk outside of the Post Office when I get there, and he notices the small size of my pack.

Taj, which we'll call him, tells me quite a bit about the trail. He comments about my desire to run into snow storms in the Colorado mountains.

Ha! You might just get your wish! You better be careful what you wish for!

I suspect he's correct.

He used to be an active trail angel; we talk for at least 10 minutes. It's situations like these that make me think it's best to continue on the trail.

An gentleman quite a bit older than Taj greets us both, and they exchange niceties as the eldest walks into the post office. We're all more than 6 feet apart, mind you, but they are both unconcerned.

They're just about as unconcerned as the large amount of elderly folks in the restaurant for the past couple of days. Particularly the man on an oxygen tank traveling around in the midst of a respiratory disease pandemic.

It's ironic because the younger people online are much more upset and angry than these people are. Even my parents are relatively unconcerned, but Karen on Facebook is furious.

Not that she's wrong. Or necessarily right.

The post office clerk is apologetic for not having the CDT hiker sign up this season.

I'm the first one he's seen.

He laughs about Covid, just as he lathers his hands in sanitizer.