I have decided to alter my route significantly. Instead of riding to Washington D.C. I am going to make this a regional tour of the Western U.S. This relinquishes some of my goals, but will greatly advance others. Overall this change is what I feel I must do to do responsible travel during the pandemic.
I am a Westerner and I know this region better than any other. Riding here allows me to report on what I see with greater context and background knowledge. I also know a great number of people in the West, and those connections have already made my trip far richer than it would have been otherwise. I am excited to dig deeper into this region and the compelling climate issues we face here.
At this point I am unsure if I will actually get on a plane to Glasgow for the conference. Travel within the U.S. is fraught with Covid-19 risk right now. I feel I can manage it better within my country and my region. I can respond to illness in my family and community fairly quickly, and I have the support of a network of friends scattered around this part of the world. In Scotland I will have none of those advantages. The trend of the pandemic will have to be good and the welcome mat out for international visitors like me joining a huge international gathering.
That all seems far away now, but I know those decisions are quite close in time. I've been distracted because the last several days have been spent with friends in the glorious early-fall of the Colorado Rockies. I look forward to more travels and climate learning in this place I love. Soon I will be in Durango visiting a friend who works with the Southern Ute Tribe, then up to Moab to talk with local experts on the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. I'll be writing about these and other topics soon...