by Hailey Beckstrand
Since quarantine has started my family has taken up hiking every Sunday in an effort to get connected with each other, explore the outdoors, and stay stranded together.
Our first adventure was to William B. Umstead park. As soon as we got there it rained….. "Well, let's turn around and go home." Nope we couldn't, due to circumstances we were stuck there for an hour, in the rain, on a Sunday afternoon, 30 minutes away from home. The cars were hot and the kids restless, so we paced the small, humid, somewhat stinky, but luckily sheltered, outdoor public bathroom facility, while discussing what to do. Continue with our hike? No we would get soaked but the kids were already splashing around in the rain, chasing a frog. We were quite literally stranded. As the rain let up we ventured out of the small shelter and walked towards a lake in the outskirts of the park and began skipping rocks. There we were, stranded, wet, hungry, but laughing, smiling, and being together.
Since then we have continued to hike every Sunday, visiting various locations around North Carolina(thanks to @NCEatAndPlay). We have visited the Occoneechee Speedway, the Eno River, Forest Ridge Park, and more. While we're not the only families out there, in a sense we are stranded, on the trail, in our bubble of happiness, with each other. My family has found a way to get and stay stranded. In essence this is what Stay Stranded is all about, getting out, by yourself or with your family, doing what you love, finding your direction and place. Get Stranded. Stay Stranded.