CLINTON — In the year of COVID, the old school essay “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” took an ugly turn.

Popular vacation spots shut down. People were laid off and lost projected revenue.

For Jadd Dithmart and Reah Lopez of Clinton, summer vacation meant enjoying the great outdoors, kayaking, fishing and camping.

In July, they camped in Decorah and loved it so much they returned.”We went there once and had to go back,” said Reah.

“They’ve got waterfalls,” Reah said, and an ice cave. The cold springs at Dunning’s Spring Park are so clear they filled their water bottles from it, though the park doesn’t recommend it. “Tastes so good,” said Jadd.

The trout fishing there is great, said Jadd. “I watched people pull out a trout right by my tent.”

The couple likes to go to the movies sometimes, but with COVID restrictions, that wasn’t possible. “It’s kind of nice, though,” said Reah. “It kind of pushed us to be outside.”

They live by the north bridge and bike the trail to the South bridge a couple of times a week, said Reah.

Kira Price of Clinton didn’t have much of a vacation, but it wasn’t due to COVID. Price was busy preparing for college.

Instead of going somewhere on vacation, Price planned and held a graduation party at Eagle Point Lodge. “It was great. It was a good experience,” said Price in August.

About 200 people showed up to wish Price luck, but not at one time. Only a couple of teachers showed up because many had been exposed to COVID.

Price’s mother, Maggi, her grandmother, Linda Wilson, and her sister, Brigita Wilson help put the party together. “I had to put together the picture board,” Price said.

Instead of traditional Clinton High School black and red, Price decked out her party in green, her favorite color.

Kentucky native Natalie Lund is used to visiting family in her home state during vacation, but that didn’t happen this summer, she said Thursday.

“Anybody who I was planning on seeing was either not available or scared for COVID,” Lund said.

“And I was kind of worried.” Lund didn’t want to endanger her family and friends by spreading the virus.

One of the COVID-era disappointments for Lund was the closure of swimming pools. “I didn’t get to swim at all.”

Lund, who works at Boutiques at Riverfront, moved from Davenport to Clinton about a year ago. She did manage to get out of Iowa during the summer.

“We went up to Wisconsin a few times,” Lund said. Her boyfriend’s family lives there.