So - Where Were We Going in 2020?
The name of our website and the question of the day – week – um, month? Right now? No where! Like most folks, we’re at home, waiting in quarantine for the number of COVID-19 cases in east Tennessee to begin to drop. Our curve is flatter, but still rising -- and our governor has decided to open the state anyway. (Tennessee is a strange place.) Though we realize that we may be social-distancing for months, I thought I’d let you know what’s happening with our travel plans.
Asia: We’d planned to leave on 29 April for a two-and-a-half month trip. We'd fly to Singapore via London, spend a few days there, and then travel down through Malaysia to Indonesia. We'd spend about six weeks exploring several islands (did you know that Indonesia includes more than 17,000 islands?) and experiencing a part of the world I’ve never visited. (Navy Tom has seen some parts.) We also planned to spend a few days (between visas) in Brunei. Well, so much for that idea. We canceled plans months ago.
North America: Once the state and national parks open, we’ll get the Phoenix Cruiser out of its quarantine and travel to places where we can hike. No guarantees on dates, but we do have reservations at campgrounds in Fall Creek Falls and Frozen Head State Parks and in the Smoky Mountains. Fingers crossed! I hope to visit Corey in early September, and we hope to visit New Orleans in late September. Both September trips are tentative -- lots of hopes.
South America: Tom continues to train for the four day trek on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, still scheduled for early September. Right now, Peru’s borders are closed, but I am optimistic and hope he’ll be able to travel. He’s been hiking, mostly at Frozen Head State Park, and says he’s walked more than 250 miles and 40,000 feet of incline. Even if the worst case happens and he can’t go this year, he’ll be in great shape. He took pictures of these challenging trails at Frozen Head State Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The last photo is from the top of Frozen Head Mountain.
Across the Atlantic: Late next spring, we have yet more tentative plans and a few reservations to take multi-day walks in England, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland, and drive around northern Wales. This is a roots tour for us, as Tom’s mother’s family is from southwestern Ireland, while my folks came to the US from the borders of northern and western England.
But then again, maybe we'll wait until fall 2021 and go to Japan. Will any of this happen? I have not a clue.