Going viral

The Menaul trailhead, shot from a social distance.

Beyond hoarding beans, buttwipe and bullets, people don’t seem to be taking The Bug seriously in these parts.

Or they didn’t on Sunday, anyway.

When Herself and I bicycled over to the Dark Tower to deliver some vino to Herself the Elder, we passed three trailhead parking lots that were jam-packed and overflowing onto neighboring streets.

Call me crazy, but this seemed like antisocial distancing to me, on a par with slow dancing in a burning building, the New Mexican equivalent of sunburned bro-brahs wearing bikini babes like earbuds during spring break in Florida.

Maybe the authorities were watching, too. Maybe our crowds were not out of the ordinary.

Because come Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham went on TV to lay down the law. Or the advisory, anyway.

The nut graf? Keep your distance, preferably behind closed doors.

“There are a lot of people out and about,” she said. “This creates risk. This creates exposure.”

The Piedra Lisa trailhead, which looked like the drop-off lane at an elementary school.

I created a few exposures myself with the old iPhone camera, and here they are, all shot from a proper social distance, if only to avoid an ass-kicking (“Hey, man, whatchoo taking pictures of, huh? You work for my old lady?”).

And when I got back to El Rancho Pendejo I created another podcast.

Yes, yes, yes — it’s a socially distant, viral episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!




P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: I recorded this episode with an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic straight to the MacBook Pro, using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was in GarageBand. The background music is “Buddy,” an iMovie jingle. The other sound effects were liberated from the GarageBand loops library. And those musical references? The musicologists among you will be familiar with “Highway to Hell” (AC/DC); “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin); “Happy Trails” (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans); “Get It While You Can” (Janis Joplin); “The Last Waltz” (The Band); and “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” (Johnny Cash). These are not necessarily the folks who wrote the music, but the ones who came to mind as I was writing the podcast.

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18 Responses to “Going viral”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      Mission from God indeed. That’s choice material that needs to be watched tonight POB. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I got a return email from Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel about bike repair shops being put on the essential list, i.e., “…that bike shops be considered essential, at least with respect to being able to provide repair service and supplies critical to keeping a bicycle rolling.”. She said she is gonna forward the request to the Governor. Stay tuned.

    We are closing the gun club except to the Los Alamos Police Dept. They use the range for training so technically, it is an essential facility. But the board of directors (I’m on the board and I concur) doesn’t think it would seem so essential for skeet and trap shooting. so there we go. Gotta conserve ammo anyway, amiright?

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Your casting of pods is getting better by the day. But maybe I’m just starving for some comedic relief? We headed out to a local hiking trail this past weekend and damned if the lot was packed with cars unlike any other time. But no crowds or lines with everyone well spread out. Then, it snowed three inches and killed the only endorphins high most of us have had in weeks. Oh well, my closets are now orderly along with the sock drawer. Homemade soup and biscuits attended to. All is not lost…life is just rearranged with less bullshit one only thinks is important and less money to piss away.

  4. terribleclaws Says:

    I got in a road ride on Sunday that took me from Grand Junction to Fruita (Colorado), which included passing by a couple trailheads as well. These are trailheads that you normally would expect to be fairly busy on a nice weekend afternoon, but DAMN! Like PO’G says: social distancing? What ‘social distancing’?

    Oddly, the trailhead for the Lunch Loops mountain biking area in Grand Junction was really packed, despite the fact that it rained just a few hours earlier. So we’re not only ignoring the ‘social distancing’ guidelines, but the ‘don’t ride on muddy trails’ ethos is out the window as well. Oh well, not my job to fix trails.

    What I think is going, around here anyway, is that now that the ski areas have shut down many of those would-be skiers, including many from the Front Range, are coming our way for some outdoor recreating. I suspect that to someone from Denver, our idea of crowded is their idea of ‘social distancing’.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Could be, could be. Also, the Aspenoids just got told to stay home, so maybe this was their last hurrah, too.

      Non-residents, meanwhile, are being told to piss off and stay pissed off. Imagine my surprise.

      • terribleclaws Says:

        Somehow I doubt that any such directive issued by the Pitkin County Health Director will be much adhered to. Aspenites don’t seem like the sort to take the advice of anyone who actually works for a living.

        Now where’s that free government money they keep talking about? I’m not gonna sit around here on my ass for nothin’.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Free money coming soon. If people in a tough spot have to spend theirs to pay bills, I’ll spend ours too. Henriksen, USA made, amplifier and a Mirrix loom, also USA made might end up in Rancho O’Be.

  5. JD Dallager Says:

    Some good “Get Out, Spread Out” advice here from our local trails and open space coalition:

    Do not use parks, trails and open spaces if you have any signs of illness.
    Do not touch surfaces that are likely to be touched by other people.
    Public facilities may be closed, so bring your own water, use the restroom before you head out and be ready to pack it in, pack it out.
    Communication is key to physical distancing! Please announce your presence and communicate about passing. Maintaining 6ft spacing is the priority, step off the trial if needed.
    If the parking lot is full, find another place to recreate.
    It is time to spread out! That means physically spreading apart at least 6ft, spreading out our trips to play outside and spreading away from popular parks and trails that everyone is using.

    Stay safe and healthy!!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Most of the open space in our neck of the woods comes with only a parking lot, a trash can, and some signs. No bathrooms, no water sources. You will see the occasional bench or picnic table.

      The thing that concerned me about Sunday’s crowds was that some of the trails are true singletrack, narrow as hell, and lined with cacti and other spiky bits to boot. In spots it would be almost impossible to give another person the recommended social distance while passing … especially if everyone is wearing earbuds and earth-toned garb, as is the traditional practice around here.

      It’s a recipe for disaster, and a fit subject for its own post, coming later this morning. Stay tuned.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Stay tuned? How ’bout STAY HOME? While I doubt it’s gonna kill you to stay inside while this pandemic rages, there’s little doubt running around outside WILL kill others even if it doesn’t kill you.
        Quarantines only work if everyone obeys the rules. What part of making a (very) small sacrifice for your fellow man don’t you guys get?

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Patrick, I just shot you an email or two. Ken McLeod at the LAB is contacting our state folks about bike mechanics as essential people. With a link.

    Hi Khal,

    I’d also like you to know that we created a campaign page for people to direct messages to the Governor on this issue:


    Please feel free to circulate as you see fit.



    KEN MCLEOD, Policy Director
    KEN@BIKELEAGUE.ORG | 202-621-5447

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