Category: coronavirus

HAVING A “PLAN B” WHEN YOU ARE “BURNED OUT” ON VACATION

HAVING A “PLAN B” WHEN YOU ARE “BURNED OUT” ON VACATION

(Originally published on April 27, 2021. Updated August 7, 2021)

 

“Hot, windy weather like this creates a high fire risk” the septuagenarian ranger who had lived his entire life in the area told the group of visitors to Glacier National Park who had joined him for an interpretive walk near Lake McDonald.

(Dick Jordan Photo)

“You mean a fire like that one” my wife said, pointing to a wisp of grayish-white smoke off in the distance over the ranger’s shoulder.

“S…” the ranger exclaimed as he rushed back to his pickup truck to radio in a report of the fire.

And that was a harbinger of what would ultimately force us to hastily devise a “Plan B” to modify our planned two-week trip to western Montana.

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YELLOWSTONE IN 2021

YELLOWSTONE IN 2021

A year ago, in “Yellowstone in 2020” I wrote:

“Yellowstone is certainly one of the most heavily visited national parks in the Western U.S. with over 4 million tourists coming each year from 2015 through 2019.

“But thanks the coronavirus, visitation may drop off considerably this year especially since park lodging and dining may be quite limited.

“Even in a normal year, waiting until late April or May to book lodging could result in you discovering that there is “no room at the inn.

“With luck, a year from now a vaccine against the virus will be widely available so putting off a trip to Yellowstone until 2021 might be prudent.”

So, what, if anything, has changed for those planning to head to Yellowstone this summer?

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE RENTAL CARS GONE: NOT ON THE ROAD AGAIN

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RENTAL CARS GONE: NOT ON THE ROAD AGAIN

If you read my recent story (“Fully Vaccinated But Going Nowhere”) you know that thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic I haven’t done an away-from-home overnight trip since January of 2020. And if you have been following my on-going re-cap of virus-related travel stories (“The Impact of The Coronavirus on Recent and Future Travel”) you know that COVID-19 markedly reduced both domestic travel within the U.S. as well as international travel by Americans heading abroad and citizens from other countries visiting the U.S. for well over a year.

But the availability of vaccines appears to have unleashed a strong pent-up desire on the part of those who have received “The Jab” to travel because (to steal lyrics from one of Willie Nelson’s famous tunes) they “just can’t wait to get on the road again” and they are booking flights, hotels and (so they think) reserving rental cars.

Unfortunately, as revealed by comments to a Facebook post that included a link to this recent Wall Street Journal article (“Wait, Where Did All the Rental Cars Go?”) those who have tried to “hit the road” after flying to a destination have encountered some very unpleasant surprises.

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