Today I celebrate the return of The New York Times travel section. This is a really important sign that things are improving. Amy Virshup, a travel editor who contributed to this section, begins by celebrating the ebbing of the pandemic followed by applause for the arrival of summer. She concluded by welcoming the adventures that will occur now that road trips are again possible.
The articles that followed Sunday were about birding in Arizona, learning about the highways in Alaska, appreciating the old-growth forests of California, and the proverbial much, much more. I have experienced all three of the featured adventures and more. Other articles were about the islands south of Savanah, Georgia, that I was happy to learn about, and enjoying the states of Maine. I have explored coastal Maine and been to Campobello, but Ruth and I chose to learn about New Brunswick and the reversing falls and incredible tides rather than travel north on Highway #1 in Maine to Fort Kent as the Times article recommends.
The returning travel section offers some good advice in an article called “Five Things to Know Before Road-Tripping This Summer”. #1 is “You Won’t Be Alone”. Ruth and I have had 3 trips since COVID vaccinations became more widespread, and we experienced crowds everywhere we went. It was especially evident that people have hit the road in places like Bishop, CA. It’s estimated that 34 million Americans were on the highways over Memorial Day weekend. #2 suggests that you not throw aways the masks yet. We learned this in Tucson where we were required to wear them everywhere, and all indoor attractions were still closed and likely to remain so until fall, 2021. #4 was, “Research well, book in advance, and brace for closures”. This is really good advice. We recently saw Manzanar simply because it was briefly opened for visits. I was warned there to remind my readers that, due to staffing issues, Manzanar might not be opened every day and all day. #4 tells travelers that campers can not simply show up at National Park facilities this summer. In many places camping reservations are required. Don’t assume getting in at any National Park Service location for a long while.
Ruth and I birded in Arizona at Ramsey Canyon not too long ago and saw many hummingbirds. One of our great travel experiences occurred on The Denali Highway in Alaska. We stayed in what was called The Dog House and really enjoyed being the only vehicle for hundreds of miles along this route. In the not so distant past we celebrated Ruth’s birthday among the tree giants in 2 sections of Redwood National Park in Northern California. Things went very well until we hit a deer near Santa Rosa. The New York Times travel section informed me about Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is not too far from Tulelake, where another Japanese settlement camp was located. It stayed opened longer than Manzanar partially because hard cases had been sent there, and Ruth & I aspire to see it soon if it is opened for travelers.
Welcome back to the best travel section in a nationally distributed news facility. You were sorely missed.