These previous months, I’ve seen one thing uncommon: crowds within the canyons. The pandemic has compelled folks out of gyms and into our mountains and parks. It’s made our wild areas extra multiracial; I now get stopped commonly by Latinx and Pacific Islander households asking in regards to the nearest trailhead. Youngsters cluster on trails to exclaim over a tarantula or a coyote whisking into the comb. An inflow of crimson squirrels has swelled the raptor inhabitants in Salt Lake, and now strangers accumulate at sundown to chook watch. We consider nature as escape, however now it’s a secure place to be collectively. Our mountains have change into a respite from our solitude, and for that, I’m grateful.
— Paisley Rekdal, poet laureate of Utah