Thursday, March 19, 2020

Just some Stuff, then some more

On Monday most everyone had pulled out after the disc golf tournament. It was quiet. Monday night the sky lit up.

On Tuesday the email light started blasting away with cancellations. Somewhere in there Moab made an announcement that they were mostly closing the hotels, restaurants, and any places of public gathering. Guests that had booked took that to mean me, except I'm not in Moab. Then the National Parks made a bunch of restrictions. I didn't get many cancellations on that because usually when I find out people want to go to the parks while  here I tell them to stay in town. I started emailing the cancellations telling them it doesn't affect me, I'm not in Moab.

Then Elizabeth and Eric showed up doing the Hayduke. Nice couple. Told them there were three in front of them. They watered up, got some clarifying directions and headed off.

By the time I had walked back into the office I had five more cancellations. I started emailing them back because they all said because of the incident in Moab. What incident in Moab? Grand and San Juan Counties are huge counties with small populations. Together they are bigger than three states and there's not a single case of the virus in either county so far. Turns out Southeast Utah Health Department put out an order telling various businesses in Grand, Carbon, and Emery counties to close or take severe restrictions. Except, I'm not in any of those three counties. I emailed all the cancellations and a few re-booked.

I went into Moab on Wednesday to get groceries and do errands and if you hadn't checked into a room in town by 10pm you were out of luck. They can't take reservations anymore. Restaurants were all closed except some take out and McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's drive thru were open, with pretty long lines. Was pretty cool walking into Village Market. The produce lady said they were sorry they didn't have much romaine for Kobae but they had some and the meat department told me they couldn't get cases of hot dogs for the critters for an unknown amount of time but they had some individual packs. So I got what I could. The paper aisle, toilet paper, paper towels, stuff like that was empty. None to be had. Food was mostly fine so I got what I needed, nothing more and headed back after a brief stop at Walker to get some hardware stuff and trash bags. I had to stand four feet behind the person in front of me and they wiped the counter and credit card machine down before I could step forward, except I only pay with cash, so I don't know what they do about that.

On the way into town seven more cancellations and then things turned on the way back. Six bookings. As soon as something would go vacant on the airbnb calendar somebody would book it. The mindset had changed. People wanted to get away from the madness and this is probably about as safe a place as any. Just before I would have lost reception on the way back San Juan County called me and I thought "This is the shutdown." The guy said "Hey, just wanted to make sure you're staying open." I said "I am." He said basically San Juan is a huge county, sparsely populated, and with the few rentals it does have they are mostly all out in the sticks like me so it's unlikely there's a much safer place for those that want to get away than the locations in San Juan and I think there is logic to that. Apparently other people are figuring that out because after the initial tidal wave of cancellations if's about one for one. Get a cancellation and somebody books to get away from crazy. What a roller coaster.

On Thursday Erick and Cassie came through doing the Hayduke saying they'd been following two sets of footprints. We spent a little time together and cleared up some stuff on the Lockhart portion of the route and they were off. I came inside and no cancellations or bookings. I started emailing everyone who is booked for the next month to let them know I'm not a participant in the stuff that has been released by Moab and SE Utah Health Department and things seem to have settled down. I kind of wish I was out hiking with Erick and Cassie and getting to avoid the crazy.

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