New-York Historical Society to Open Free Outdoor Exhibition, ‘Hope Wanted: NYC Under Quarantine’ Aug. 14

The New-York Historical Society plans to reopen starting August 14 with a special free outdoor exhibition, ‘Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine.’

New York, NY – The New-York Historical Society, the city’s oldest museum, plans to reopen in stages starting August 14, 2020, pending approval from local and state officials. The Museum will first open a special free outdoor exhibition, Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine, which documents the experiences of New Yorkers across the five boroughs during the height of the pandemic. Then on September 11, 2020, the Museum is planning to reopen indoors, with safety protocols in place for visitors and staff.

“We are eager to welcome visitors back to the New-York Historical Society,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “While so much has changed over the past several months, our mission of ‘Making History Matter’ remains vital, now more than ever before.”

Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine

Curated by writer and humanitarian Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman, Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine features more than 50 photographs taken by Hickman along with 12 audio interviews with the photographs’ subjects conducted by Powell during the team’s intensive two-day odyssey across the city on April 8–9, 2020; the audio will be accessible to visitors through their cell phones. Hickman’s empathetic photographs of people and their neighborhoods in all five boroughs and Powell’s searching interviews of New Yorkers impacted by the crisis capture both tragedy and remarkable resilience at a moment in time during the pandemic. The exhibition text and audio will be offered in both English and Spanish.

Hope Wanted will take place outdoors in New-York Historical’s rear courtyard (located at West 76th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue), providing an open-air environment for visitors to view the exhibition and contemplate the impact of COVID-19 on New York City. Admission is free; access will be limited and face coverings will be required for entry, with social distancing enforced through timed-entry tickets and on-site safety measures.

The exhibition also includes a quiet seating area, surrounded by plantings and conducive to reflection, where visitors can record their own experiences of the pandemic in an open-sided story booth. These oral histories will be archived by New-York Historical.

Kevin Powell is a poet, journalist, public speaker, civil and human rights activist, and the author of 14 books, including his new title, When We Free the World (Apple Books), about the present and future of America, which is exclusively excerpted in the New York Times (“A Letter From Father to Child”). Kay Hickman is a documentary photographer and visual artist. Her passion is highlighting the human experience as it relates to identity, human rights, and health issues. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesTimeVogueMs., VibeUtne, and MFON Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Dr. Marilyn Kushner, curator and head, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, is New-York Historical’s curatorial coordinator for the exhibition.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Ford Foundation. Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

Museum Reopening

Details of the Museum’s indoor reopening protocols and visitor safety measures will be announced soon. Since the New-York Historical Society closed to the public on March 13 to help contain the spread of COVID-19, it has been actively collecting during these unprecedented times through its History Responds initiative, documenting the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in New York City. For more details on what New-York Historical is currently collecting and how to donate objects, visit nyhistory.org/history-responds.

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is also home to the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, one of the oldest, most distinguished libraries in the nation—and one of only 20 in the United States qualified to be a member of the Independent Research Libraries Association—which contains more than three million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024. Information: (212) 873-3400. Website: nyhistory.org. Follow the Museum on social media at @nyhistory on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Tumblr.

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Long Island’s American Airpower Museum Reopens August 1 with Flyovers of WWII Bombers, Fighters

A fly-by of World War II era planes from the American Air Power Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, at the popular Jones Beach Air Show. The museum reopens August 1 with a special event featuring flyovers of WWII era bombers and fighters © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Farmingdale, NY– The American Airpower Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, is mounting a Grand Reopening special event on Saturday, August 1, 2020.  Like all other New York State museums, the American Airpower Museum (AAM) was forced to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak, resulting in the cancellation of half of the Museum’s 2020 flight season.  AAM’s iconic WWII bombers and fighters return to action with an exciting family-friendly flight demonstration.

Join AAM on August 1, at 11:00 a.m., when World War II and other vintage aircraft depart from AAM’s ramp to take to the skies over Long Island’s north and south shores. Aircraft will create camera-ready opportunities as they perform low-level passes over Republic Airport where AAM is based.  These flights will feature AAM’s Grumman TBM Avenger, two North American T6 Texans, the AT28D5 Vietnam era combat fighter, the WACO Biplane and as an added attraction, L-39 cold war era Russian jets.

2020 was slated to be a banner year for AAM.  Museum aircraft were scheduled to participate in historic events marking the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and honoring U.S. Veterans who made the Allied victory possible.  As they have done for the last 17 years, AAM’s WWII airplanes were going to appear in the Annual Jones Beach Airshow.  And it must be noted that on May 24th 2020, the American Airpower Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary in isolation.

At the end of the 2019 season, AAM took their aircraft “off line” for the winter to begin scheduled maintenance and inspections, making sure the Warbirds would be ready for a full 2020 flight season.  Sometime in early January, the coronavirus outbreak hit our shores.  Public health and safety concerns led AAM’s Board of Directors to preemptively close the Museum on March 16th for two weeks.  “The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the public was foremost,” said Jeff Clyman, AAM president.  “That’s why we acted early and sent everyone home, causing a total cessation of work on our aircraft,” he added.  Then on March 22nd, New York State ordered all non-essential businesses statewide to close.  Two weeks became three months.

Clyman said it has always been AAM’s mission to honor the legacy of those who gave all to preserve our freedoms.  “We’re pleased to announce we recently resumed maintenance and inspection of our aircraft so that much anticipated flight operations can begin with our grand reopening event.  We also promise a flying salute to our Veterans and front line workers very soon,” he said.  

Admission for adults is $13, seniors and veterans $10 and children $8.  Due to the need for social distancing, admission will be limited to first come/first served.  A maximum attendance of 150 persons will be allowed on the outdoor ramp area, with limited access to the Museum.  All visitors will be required to wear face masks and will have their temperatures digitally taken at the entrance.  As a special promotion, the first 20 people admitted will be included in a raffle for WACO Biplane flights later in the summer (limit one per family).  So bring lunch, hang out and enjoy the AAM experience.

If you are unable to come to the event on Saturday, August 1st,  your can still help AAM offset major financial losses incurred during the Covid-19 shutdown, by using a secure PayPal link at: www.americanairpowermuseum.com/donate/ to make a tax-deductible contribution – any amount is appreciated — or for more information on corporate donations, call Jacky Clyman, AAM executive vice president, at (917) 690-1965 or jacky@cockpitusa.com.

The American Airpower Museum is an aviation museum located on the landmarked former site of Republic Aviationat Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY.  The Museum maintains a collection of aviation artifacts and an array of aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factory’s history.  The Museum is a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Educational Foundation.

The American Airpower Museum, Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735, 631-293-6398, info@americanairpowermuseum.org, www.americanairpowermuseum.com.

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The Wildwoods, NJ Offers ‘Safecation’ Beach Destination

The Wildwoods, NJ – The Wildwoods, NJ has so much to offer, from beautiful free and spacious beaches with plenty of room to spread out and a world-famous boardwalk with lots of fun attractions. As families venture out to enjoy summer vacations, the Wildwoods offer the ultimate ‘safecation’ destination to ensure a worry-free getaway.

Drive in

The most popular way to reach the destination, especially in the summer 2020, is via car. Load up and hop in your vehicle and head ‘down the shore!’ Vacationers will know when they are close to the Wildwoods without looking at their GPS – with the sea air, signs and excitement in the air signifying their arrival is near.

The Wildwoods have rolled out the red carpet for vacationers with a fabulous new Grand Gateway, an all-new visitor experience designed to greet all visitors and launch them into vacation mode from the moment they arrive. As they make their way over the bridge and onto the island, vacationers are greeted by a new ‘Welcome to the Wildwoods’ Doo Wop style sign in the shape of a surfboard. With its vivid colors and lighting, it can be seen upon approach day or night, setting the tone for the fun that lies ahead. The new Gateway also features a digital billboard announcing the latest events and information. Visitors will also notice colorful beach ball bollards along the entranceway, leading straight to the world-famous Wildwoods sign.

‘Sparkling’ Hotel Accommodations

Once on the island, visitors may check in to the lodging destination of their choice offering over 8,000 hotel-motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals, many of which appear to ‘sparkle’ with Doo Wop themed architecture, décor and bright colors. Inside, social distancing practices, enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols are being followed. Hotel and motel swimming pools are following safety practices by including screenings upon entering the swimming pool area; social distancing while in the water and on pool decks, and non-sharing of pool furniture and equipment, except among families and partners.

Beach Therapy

Stretching for five miles across North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, the Wildwoods beaches are clean and free for all visitors to enjoy. With today’s ever-changing world, we sometimes need a safe escape. The Wildwoods beaches are the ideal location for visitors to clear their minds, escape the chaos, and enjoy the calming ‘Beach Therapy’. Our wide spacious beaches allow plenty of room to stretch out. Beach goers have the option of choosing to enjoy a relaxing day in the sun, or a more adventurous day of activities on the water, such as surfing, boogie boarding, fishing, power boating, jet-skiing, sailing, kayaking, and whale watching.

Boardwalk Fun

Along with our award-winning beaches, another ‘must do’ is our world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk. Known as ‘2-½ miles of smiles,’ the boardwalk has fun for everyone, whether you’re looking for relaxtion, shopping and dining, or thrills and adventure. Amusement piers, arcades, games, waterparks, shops and outdoor dining can all be enjoyed safely on our boardwalk – with social distancing, facemask requirements and sanitizing protocols in place. For a more peaceful day, take a ride on the 140-foot Ferris Wheel that overlooks the beach and ocean, go for a bike ride, take a stroll, fly a kite, or take a ride on the famous Wildwoods Boardwalk ‘Sightseer’ Tram Cars. For more action and adventure, go on any of the Boardwalk’s world-class roller coasters, take monster truck rides on the beach, or plunge to the bottom of a huge waterslide, and more!

Watch the Tram Car, please!

The Wildwoods Sightseer Tram Cars provide a leisurely cruise down the Boardwalk. First introduced on the Wildwoods’ Boardwalk in 1949, the Tram Cars are an iconic part of the Wildwoods Boardwalk experience, transporting tens of thousands of guests along the two-mile Wildwoods Boardwalk each year. The four original Tram Car trains are some of the oldest, continually operating modes of public transportation in the United States. Today’s Tram Cars are environmentally friendly, running on battery power. Each Tram Car can run for up to 12 hours on a single charge from their 2,000-pound electric batteries.

The Tram Cars require riders to follow social distance guidelines and are employing enhanced sanitizing protocols. Modifications include plexiglass dividers and plastic shields between seating areas; and a sanitizing regimen with quick-drying disinfectant every half-hour. Tram employees are also wearing masks while interacting with visitors and passengers.

Bikeability

Bike riding is a favorite pastime and no town seems to do biking better than the Wildwoods. The Wildwoods have coined the word ‘Bikeability’ to capture all of the amazing opportunities for biking. Right now, there is no better way to recharge, get physical exercise and enjoy the beautiful salty air – all while keeping a safe distance from fellow visitors – than a leisurely bike ride. From lengthy and scenic bike paths, to bike lanes along popular roads, to biking along the boardwalk, there are many ways to enjoy the Wildwoods on two wheels.

Cap off your family vacation with a shopping spree in the many shops and boutiques on the Boardwalk and Downtown Wildwood. Don’t forget to wear your mask and stay safe in the Wildwoods.

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.

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Two Historic Maine Windjammers Begin Sailing this Season

Maine Windjammer cruise aboard the historic Stephen Tabor (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.

Rockland, ME – Two of the eight members of the historic Maine Windjammers fleet have opted to meet the stringent standards in wake of the COVID-19 health emergency and sail in 2020: the Stephen Tabor and the Ladona.

Usually the “fit out” season to get boats ready for sailing goes from March through late May with a Memorial Day start to the season for the Maine Windjammer Association, the largest fleet of working windjammers in America. This year, it’s taken until mid-July for boats to start sailing, but the hurdles to start the season have gone well beyond fit-out.  The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt until July 1st when Governor Janet Mills allowed overnight windjammer cruises in Maine to re-open.  Throughout that time, members of the Maine Windjammer Association were busy working with the Dept of Marine Resources to create guidance for a safe sailing environment. 

To sail in 2020, the overnight windjammer trips need to meet guidelines for lodging, restaurants and windjammers on top of the rigorous Coast Guard licensing requirements. To date, two of the eight members of the fleet have opted to sail in 2020.

No sector of the tourism industry is required to meet such stringent guidelines, yet for Captain Noah Barnes of the Schooner Stephen Taber, the guidelines ensure that passengers will be safe. “We’ve taken it one step further than the already stringent protocols, and are asking every guest who comes sailing with us to attest to a negative COVID-19 test,” said Captain Noah.  “This is one way we can safeguard the guests and crew on board this summer,” he added. In addition, stringent sanitization and cleaning, social distancing and safety protocols will be in place for those sailing this summer.  For complete information on COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols aboard Schooners Ladona and Stephen Taber, click here.

The Schooner Ladona was the first to set sail on Saturday, July 18.  Schooner Stephen Taber’s first trip departed on July 23 with live entertainment provided by the Charlie Nobles Band.

“We’re doing everything we can do to help people get out and enjoy a sailing vacation on board a beautiful windjammer this summer,” said Captain Noah. “We’ve put safety measures and cleaning protocols in place and changed itineraries to visit more remote uninhabited islands to give plenty of room for social distancing while ashore,” he added. “Will it be the same kind of windjammer cruise everyone knows and loves? Hey, you can’t take the beauty of the Maine coast or the freedom of sailing by wind power away. The rush of jumping off the bowsprit into refreshing Maine harbors and knuckling down on a lobster baked on the beach will still be ingredients of your windjammer trips this summer,” he added.

Six of the Maine Windjammer Association fleet captains have opted to cancel trips this season and are looking toward 2021.  Many issues played into their decisions.  All members of the Maine Windjammer Association have already created 2021 schedules, available on SailMaineCoast.com for those who like to plan trips in advance.

“We’ve had some huge hurdles to overcome in order to leave the dock this week,” said J.R. Braugh, Captain of the Schooner Ladona. “We’re glad that we’re going to be able to offer guests the ideal summer vacation in Maine – sailing aboard a beautifully restored wind-driven schooner taking in Maine scenery and allowing Mother Nature to soothe stressed bodies, minds and souls in the perfect unplugged vacation,” he added.

For more information on the schedules for 2020 and 2021 sailing seasons, and to learn more about the Maine Windjammer Association fleet, visit https://SailMaineCoast.com.

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Historic Mount Washington ‘Road to the Sky’ Continues to Welcome Tourists

Mount Washington, New Hampshire’s ‘Road to the Sky’

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH — Since 1861, Mount Washington’s “Road to the Sky” has been central to tourism in New Hampshire. Originally opened for horse and carriage traffic, early tourists marveled at the amazing views from the Northeast’s highest peak, and the clean, fresh air that made the mountains such a desirable destination for early city dwellers. While the Mt. Washington Auto Road now caters to motorized vehicles, the Road maintains its original 7.6-mile course up the mountain, and offers travelers the same experience in 2020 as it has throughout its long history.

This year’s opening day in June, however, came amidst unprecedented, worldwide health and travel concerns. All businesses—retail, lodging, hospitality and attractions—are making extraordinary efforts to adapt their business models to keep their employees and customers safe. The Mt. Washington Auto Road, and its sister company, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, are no exception. In fact, every aspect of our businesses have been analyzed and adapted to provide customers with the safest possible experience, without sacrificing any of the excitement and fun. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center is currently open for biking and guided kayak tours. The Mt. Washington Auto Road opens on Thursday, June 11 for “drive yourself” customers. (Guided tours on the Auto Road were on hold until protocols and procedures to keep employees and customers safe were developed).

2020 proves to be a “year of change” in countless ways, most notably the retirement of longtime General Manager Howie Wemyss. Howie has worked for the company for almost 40 years, and was at the helm for the last 37. This year, Tobey Reichert, a lifelong resident of Gorham, and part of the sixth generation of the family that has owned the Mt. Washington Auto Road since 1906 has taken the helm.

“I love the idea of being able to manage the family business,” he states. “I grew up with Mount Washington in my backyard, so to speak, living in Gorham, and I enjoy looking at it and coming to work every day. It’s something you never want to take for granted,” said Reichert, who is married and a father of a 6-year-old son. “I’m looking forward to us getting open and being able to see people smiling.”

The family-owned Mount Washington Summit Road Company was formed in 1859, and completed the road to the summit of Mount Washington in 1861. The Mt. Washington Carriage Road, now called the Mt. Washington Auto Road, has the long-held distinction of being North America’s oldest man-made attraction. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, opened in 1994, is one of New Hampshire’s premier Nordic ski areas, with 45 kilometers of trails for skiing, snowshoeing and fatbiking. During the summer months, the Outdoor Center focuses on human-powered outdoor activities including kayaking, biking, hiking and trail running.

Mt. Washington Auto Road & Great Glen Trails, 1 Mt. Washington Auto Road, Gorham, NH 03851, 603-466-3988, info@mt-washington.com, https://mt-washington.com/.

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Sky Flyer Zipline Opens at Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

New York State has a new attraction: the Sky Flyer Zipline at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.

New York State has another new attraction: the Sky Flyer Zipline at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. The Zipline is the latest year-round attraction at the Olympic Complex and, along with the recently completed Skyride Gondola, the venue now offers a variety of ways to soar and explore the stunning beauty of the Adirondacks. The Sky Flyer Zipline is open Wednesday to Sunday for summer operations through Mid-October, and will operate on weekends for the remainder of fall.

The Sky Flyer Zipline is an exciting and thrilling attraction for visitors of all ages. Guests experience the ride from a seated position as they fly from the 70-foot tower located next to the take off ramp. Soaring parallel to the Olympic landing hill at a 30-degree decline, riders experience the excitement of an Olympic Ski Jumper. The 700-foot descent gracefully ends near the base lodge on the landing deck.  

“The Sky Flyer Zipline is our latest and most exciting addition to the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex, and is part of our ongoing effort to modernize the entire complex, not just for the athletes it serves in the wintertime but for the thousands of families in New York and across the northeast who come to Lake Placid for summer fun,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Our efforts are transforming the complex into a year-round provider of excitement and entertainment, which will attract more summer visitors and provide a boost to local businesses.”
 
The SkyRide Gondola takes visitors up the hillside to the world renowned Olympic Jumping Towers. From there, guests can take the glass enclosed elevator to the top of the 120-meter tower to enjoy panoramic views from the observatory room. There is also an exterior viewing deck that overlooks the entire landing hill and gives an amazing perspective to what athletes face just before releasing. The Gondola is open daily for the remainder of the summer season. 

The Olympic Ski Jumping Complex facility is operating on reduced capacity and follows all NY State protocols, including requiring face coverings for all guests, limited occupancy within each Gondola cabin and reduced indoor seating availability. Masks are required at all venues. 

ORDA President & CEO, Mike Pratt said,”The transformation of the Olympic Jumping Complex into a year-round destination is something we are very proud of. Besides hosting international competition and training, our guests will now be able to feel the same exhilaration as our athletes.”   

For more information about the Sky Flyer Zipline and the Lake Placid Olympic sites, visit https://lakeplacidolympicsites.com/todo/sky-flyer-zipline/.

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Bike, Hike & Camp Along Grand Canyon North Rim with Escape Adventures

Escape Adventures is offering a family-friendly, 5-day camping and mountain bike adventure that includes riding singletrack to Monument Point, hiking into the canyon on backcountry trails, pedaling across Kaibab Plateau, and conquering Rainbow Rim trail before descending to Indian Hollow.

(Las Vegas, NV) — While most of North America reels under hot summertime temperatures, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a wonderful high-altitude escape. Providing gently rolling terrain of lung-expanding dimensions, the North Rim has been long-held as sacred ground to hikers and cyclists alike. Escape Adventures is offering a family-friendly,  5-day camping and mountain bike adventure that includes riding singletrack to Monument Point, hiking into the canyon on backcountry trails, pedaling across Kaibab Plateau, and conquering Rainbow Rim trail before descending to Indian Hollow. Prices for this adventure start at $1,195 per person and multiple departures are available July 13th through October 4th, 2020. For more info, call 800.596.2953 or visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/grand-canyon-north-rim-mountain-bike-tour/

“For trekkers and active travelers of all levels, this tour is nothing less than the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Escape Adventures Founder Jared Fisher. “Gazing over the Canyon’s 9,200-ft North Rim, the immediate reaction of our guests runs from fear to reverie, and all agree that the old Arizona and Rainbow Rim Trails are the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon.”

Concealed in big Ponderosa pines and shimmering Aspen groves, the trail through Kaibab National Forest wends to a place that few have visited: the East Rim view. Trails brimming with wildflowers lead riders to exhilarating hikes along the rim. Crossing over to the west side of the plateau, guests camp alongside one of the most scenic mountain bike paths in the world, the Rainbow Rim Trail. It connects five large “Points” of land that overhang the canyon and the Arizona Strip. The five “Points” are Parissawampitts, Fence, Locust, North Timp and Timp.

Escape Adventures selects well-maintained public campgrounds with scenic vistas and comfortable arrangements. Guests will move seamlessly from one day of the trip to the next, enjoying wildly healthy, delicious homemade meals. Most of the campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. Conversely, in more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures provides portable toilets and private solar showers.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour. All transportation, food preparation, meals (except where noted on itineraries), snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Shuttle to Kaibab Lodge then ride singletrack to alpine East Rim camp for two nights. Ride to Monument Point, short hike into the Grand Canyon on backcountry hiking trail.

Day 3-4: Ride across Kaibab Plateau to beautiful backcountry camp on the Rim for two nights. Ride the Rainbow Rim singletrack.

Day 5: Descend to Indian Hollow on the west side of the Plateau to spectacular vista. Shuttle back to St. George.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels. https://escapeadventures.com/

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Leading Tour Operators Associations Set Tourcare Guidelines to Insure, Safe, Exceptional Travel Experiences

Wilderness Voyageurs bike tour heads out through Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Leading tour operators associations in the US, Canada and Europe have issued Tourcare Guidelines to inspire consumer confidence and insure safe, exceptional travel experiences © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK  – Leading tour operator associations in the US, Canada, and Europe have collaborated on a set of health and sanitization guidelines specifically for their tour operator members called TOURCARE Guidelines for Tour Operators.

Developed by the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO), the European Tourism Association (ETOA), and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), the guidelines establish recommended procedures for tour operators to provide protection for travelers against the transmission of COVID-19. The full set of TOURCARE Guidelines for Tour Operators can be found at https://ustoa.com/covid19/tour-care-guidelines.

With travel bans limiting international travel, travelers are discovering exotic, exciting experiences and places to explore within their own borders and relying on travel professionals more than ever to provide a safe travel experience.

In announcing the guidelines, USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale, ETOA Chief Executive Tom Jenkins, and CATO Executive Director Pierre LaPage said jointly: “By their very nature, tour products are complex, involving many different variables that are under the watchful eye of the tour operator, yet not every element fully under their control. We felt that our members – and the tour operator industry as a whole – would benefit from one set of guidelines developed with their specific needs top-of-mind. The TOURCARE Guidelines will help our tour operator members fulfill their mission to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their passengers while continuing to provide exceptional travel experiences in destinations around the world.”

The TOURCARE Guidelines provide direction for tour operators across all touch-points of a trip – staff, suppliers, and passengers – to ensure that health and sanitization protections are in place for each stakeholder and the communities visited. Sanitization procedures recommended are those issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as well as local governmental health authorities.

The guidelines include measures for training and sanitization for staff in contact with passengers while traveling, such as outfitting each with appropriate personal protection equipment and promoting physical distancing. 

Tour operators are encouraged to work with suppliers who comply with local health and government authority requirements, as well as employ touch-less solutions for ticketing and processing wherever possible.

Because travel is a shared experience, passengers, too, have certain responsibilities. TOURCARE Guidelines recommend that tour operators ask passengers to disclose their COVID-19 exposure prior to departure and agree to adhere to all recommended and required health and sanitization procedures including wearing of masks, gloves, and social distancing where appropriate.

Each association has shared the TOURCARE Guidelines with all tour operator members, along with the “TC” logo as a mark of compliance to display as appropriately on websites and other communication with suppliers, passengers, and travel advisors.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com; CATO at cato.ca, and ETOA at etoa.org.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

CATO, the Canadian Association of Tour Operators represents the most respected companies with offices in Canada, operating tour programs and packages from Canada to international destinations, trans-border as well as inbound to Canada and intra-Canada.

The Association is composed of like-minded tour companies – represented by their owners and senior executives who speak not only for their respective companies, but just as importantly, for the industry.

ETOA is the trade association for tour operators and suppliers in European destinations, from global brands to local independent businesses. The membership includes tour and online operators, intermediaries and wholesalers, European tourist boards, hotels, attractions, technology companies and other tourism and business service providers.

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Stanley’s Shopping List for Road Warriors, Campers as Americans Rediscover the Road Trip

As people feel comfortable taking advantage of summer weather to resume outdoor activities, many Americans are rediscovering the joys of the road trip and camping (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

As people feel comfortable taking advantage of summer weather to resume outdoor activities, many Americans are getting into their car and hitting the road. A recent survey about road trip destinations from GasBuddy shows that 60% of respondent plans to visit friends and family while 38% are opting for the beach or lake, and 24% for a national park. And whether it’s a road trip to visit family and friends, or first-time RV’ers hitting up national parks, Stanley has the gear.

Stanley has created a shopping site of the essentials for “Compact Adventures” with everything needed for road trips to backyard camping – “built for life’s (little, and not so little) adventures and Built for Life”. Here are some examples:

Road Warriors

The best co-pilots create epic playlists, can navigate highway traffic with Google Maps, find speed traps on Waze and keep the snacks coming. The Stanley 7-qt cooler ($50) can do one of those things, but we still nominate it as a perfect ‘front seat’ companion. This bad boy keeps your snacks in close proximity and cool for 27 hours, which is about 40 percent longer than your typical cooler. It also will not judge your singing voice.

Car Cup Compatible? Check. Keeps drinks cold? Check. Straw? Check. Gulp? Check. Closed? Check. Stanley Vacuum Quenchers (20- and 30-oz sizes / $20 and $28) are just about the most perfect drinking vessel for your road trip as we could imagine. This stainless steel vacuum insulated vessel keeps drinks cold for hours (iced for 40 hours!) but the real genius is its 3-position lid that has a rotating cover with a straw opening, large opening for chugging and a full cover top to reduce spills.

RV/Camping

It’s a pot, it’s a frying pan, it’s 4 plates and 4 bowls. It’s your kitchen-in-a-box. Like a Russian Nesting Doll, this is the gift that just keeps on giving. The Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set ($80) is a 19-piece cooking set offering all of the convenience of your kitchen into one small package that’s perfect for saving space. It’s saves on space but doesn’t skimp on performance; it’s just a capable as your ‘good’ kitchen gear (for some of you, maybe even better).

Whoever said ‘the fun is in the journey, not the destination’ clearly hasn’t tried to back-up an RV. Assuming your friendship/relationship/marriage has survived the journey, celebrate the milestone with the Happy Hour Cocktail Shaker Set ($35). The MacGyver of cocktail shakers, this all-in-one set features a removable reamer to juice and strain, 2 rocks glasses and a shaker.

Eat outside,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said. ‘Everything taste better in the great outdoors…’ Except when you get food poisoning because Karen’s potato salad has been baking in the sun for the past 4-hours. Say good-bye to whatever that ‘film’ is on the macaroni salad they’ve been dishing out for generations, and hello to the Stay Hot Camp Crock ($65). Yes, vacuum insulation keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold, so load this puppy up with chili or gazpacho (which, is basically running salsa, tbh). You can even use it as an ice bucket. Thanks to the durable locks and ergonomic handle, there’s no need to practice your balancing act when unloading the meal.

More at the Stanley website, www.stanley-pmi.com.

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New York State Parks Reopen Camping Reservations

Building a fire at our campsite at New York’s Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East.” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is accepting new camping reservations for this season. Campers are reminded to practice social distancing, bring and wear a face covering, respect the rules, and do their part to keep the campgrounds, parks and beaches open and safe for everyone. Camping capacity is limited and visitors must make an advance reservation before arriving at a campground.

New reservations are being accepted for all available sites – including tents, trailers, RVs, cabins, yurts and cottages. Reservations can be made in advance by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com. Online reservations are recommended.

State Park Police and operations staff are patrolling campgrounds to ensure compliance with social distancing and crowd control measures. Anyone who does not adhere to this guidance will be requested to leave the facility, and will not receive a refund.

Upon check-in, campers will be asked a series of screening questions to determine if they may have been in contact with anyone suffering from Covid-19, or if they have any potential symptoms of Covid-19, including fever or respiratory illness. People who may be at risk will not be permitted to camp.

Campground density reduction and social distancing measures will be in effect, including:

  • No walk-up reservations are allowed.
  • Each congregate restroom facility will be opened and cleaned per DOH protocols.
  • Rest rooms and shower buildings may have reduced capacity and may be closed periodically for cleaning.
  • Campground gatherings are limited to immediate household members only.
  • Campground events and programs have been suspended.
  • Park Social Distancing Ambassadors monitor campgrounds, picnic areas, beachfronts, lawns, boardwalks and other areas to ensure park guidelines are being met.
  • COVID related signage has been installed throughout the park system.

For a listing of campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, visit https://parks.ny.gov/camping/. Campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks overseen by the Department of Environmental Conservation operate on a different schedule.

Beaches and day-use areas

New York State Parks’ beaches and day-use areas are open for visitation across the state. In alignment with NY Forward, State Park beaches, day-use areas and historic sites are charging the normal entrance fee (between $6-$10). For information, visit: https://forward.ny.gov/. Entrance fees may apply beginning Saturday, June 6.

Visitors can purchase a 2020 Season Empire Pass for unlimited day-use entry. Available for $80, the 2020 Season Empire Pass is a wallet-sized card that can be shared within a household and not assigned to a specific vehicle. For more details, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/admission/empire-passport/default.aspx

Visiting State Parks during the public health crisis

To encourage physical social distancing at popular parks, beaches, trailheads, and scenic areas, several restrictions are in effect, including reduced access on high visitation days

State Parks encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:

  • Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members.
  • Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks.
  • Bring and wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn anytime you enter a rest room or park office.
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer.
  • Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees.
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
  • If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.

For information and guidance on visiting New York State Parks during the Covid-19 public health crisis, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/

See also:

Driveable Adventures: Hiking/Camping in the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ – New York’s Letchworth State Park

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