I’m Traveling For The First Time In 99 Days, And I’m Kind Of Anxious

Filed Under: Travel

Well, the day has finally come. I was last on a plane on March 10 (which was 99 days ago), and today I’m getting on a plane again for the first time since then. It’s a new world out there, and I’m not sure what to expect.

Where are we going?

Five days ago I wrote about how I thought we were ready to take a trip again, with the right mindset and precautions.

We considered a lot of different options, from traveling to Iceland, to traveling to a beach somewhere, to doing a road trip somewhere in the US. In the end we settled on getting on a plane in order to go on a mini road trip.

Friends of ours did a road trip through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado within the past week, and their pictures looked incredible, so we’ve decided to basically copy them. We’ll be making several stops, including in Moab and Zion National Park.

There’s so much of the US we haven’t explored, because we always figured we’d make it there at some point in the future. I think the time to explore that part of the country is now:

Truth be told, a big motivator of this trip is simply being able to report back to you guys on what it’s like to travel, from airports, to planes, to hotels, to car rentals, to national parks:

  • We’ll be taking a few flights, and I’m curious to observe how things have changed
  • We’ll be staying mostly at limited-service hotels, and I’m wondering what that’s like nowadays, from housekeeping, to what facilities are open, to what the food & beverage offerings are like
  • A lot of people are planning road tips this summer to avoid flying (for good reason), so I’m excited to report back on my experiences at parks, and how full they are

I must admit that I’m kind of anxious

This is such a weird sensation for me. I can’t really explain it, but I’m feeling really anxious about traveling. It’s not because I’m concerned about getting coronavirus (we’re taking what I consider to be appropriate precautions and we’re aware of the risks — more on that below), but rather it’s because I haven’t flown or left home in so long.

For the past 15 years, flying has been a regular part of my life. I’ve flown constantly, and I wouldn’t put much thought into it. Yet this trip is giving me anxiety:

  • I woke up at 2 AM this morning and simply couldn’t sleep anymore. It reminded me of when I was a kid and couldn’t sleep the night before traveling due to a combination of excitement and being scared I’ll miss my flight.
  • I feel like a first-time flyer. Will I remember to take my ID, what time do I need to show up at the airport, do I have to take off my shoes at security? (okay, I know the last part, but you get the point…)
  • Have we planned the logistics of this trip sufficiently? Not only are there the logistics of the road trip, though I’m also the furthest thing from an expert on national parks, so I feel like there are a lot of novice mistakes we’ll be making.
  • As we packed this morning it was absolutely chaotic. We were both so much out of our groove, which has never been the case in the past.

Ford and I only booked this trip fully yesterday, and no fewer than a handful of times we’ve asked ourselves “do we really want to go anywhere?”

And then there’s Winston…

Frankly, the thing that’s giving me the most anxiety is leaving Winston behind. Even though he’s spending the time with one of his loving grandmas, I haven’t been apart from him in 99 days. I don’t think he remembers what it’s like for us to travel.

Since 5 AM this morning he has gone through several stages of grief, as he has tried to process what’s going on.

“Oh yeah dad, you’re gathering all your things? Well, I’m going to round up all my friends too.”

“Wait a second, that’s a suitcase. Are you actually thinking of… leaving?”

“Oh I know you’d never leave me behind. We’re going somewhere together, right?”

“Wait… you’re walking out of the door… with bags… and without me?”

What should you expect from this trip report?

In the past, I’ve had such a consistent format for trip reports, but I feel like it’s a new era. My goal is to publish this trip report as quickly as possible, though I’m going to decide on the exact format based on my observations.

In other words, I don’t think I’ll do a “traditional” review of our domestic flights, but rather I’ll focus on what has changed about flying. As far as hotels go, I do think I’ll be doing full reviews, though I might also have some separate posts about my overall feelings on staying at hotels, etc.

While this might not follow the trip report format longtime readers are used to, consider this the introduction post to the series, and there will be lots more content on the way. If anyone has any preferences regarding the format or things you’d specifically like to read about, please let me know!

“Wait, should you even be flying right now?”

Understandably there’s a lot of debate about whether or not people should be flying for leisure right now, and I respect arguments on both sides (well, except from those who think the coronavirus is a hoax, and/or those who refuse to wear masks because of freedom/Bill Gates/5G).

Until recently I wasn’t comfortable flying, but I’ve finally turned a corner in my reasoning. Or perhaps more accurately, I’m willing to give flying a try again. Why?

  • We know more about the virus than in the past, and we also know that planes actually have surprisingly decent air filtration, better than many other indoor settings
  • Testing is now more readily available than in the past; this is a major factor for me being more comfortable traveling, since I want to be sure I can be tested without taking away a “spot” from someone who needs it more
  • Airlines initially didn’t have many precautions in place, though they’ve evolved in this regard over the past several weeks, from improving cleaning protocols, to requiring face masks

Even though I feel more comfortable flying, we’ll still be taking all kinds of precautions, including being vigilant about physical distancing, always wearing face masks, taking our temperatures frequently, focusing on outdoor activities where we’re safest, getting tested again upon our return home (or otherwise staying home for two weeks), etc.

Taking precautions is just as much about looking out for other people as it is about looking out for ourselves (and arguably it’s even more about looking out for others, given that other demographics are at much higher risk than us).

Bottom line

We’re off on our first trip in 99 days today, and I’m not sure what to expect. It’s a new world out there.

All of this is such a weird sensation. Traveling (including flying) used to feel like second nature to me, while today I feel like a first-time flyer. I have slight anxiety about leaving home.

Ultimately I feel safe about traveling — given that we’re taking precautions — but I’m still not sure if I’m looking forward to this trip, or if I’m going to want to get on a plane again anytime soon.

A large part of the motivation here is to be able to report back on what it’s actually like out there in the world right now, because I simply don’t know anymore.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

  1. Just went to Moab and stayed at the Red Cliff Lodge and HooDoo by Curio/Hilton. Both great places! Moab is great!

  2. Have fun! My favorite part of USA . Done those regions many times. Let me know if you need tips . Seriously have fun!

  3. Perfect trip for right now. We’ve been thinking of doing it by rented RV. Looking forward to your reports and suggestions.

  4. Now that you get your first trip out of the way, please stick to trip reports about the actual trip.
    No more spending paragraphs trying to justify yourself to the “travel-shaming” crowd. It’s unbecoming.

  5. You’ll be fine but don’t expect people to wear mask on the plane. I flew a few days ago and about 1/3 of the passengers took their mask off as soon as they got to their seats. Still the chances of you contracting the virus on the plane is still low.

  6. Oh Winston, you look adorable. My dog does the same thing. He hates it when I gather my luggage.

  7. I’m not one of your usual critics and I know that a lot of this is probably “virtue signaling” but this Covid 19 has you sounding absolutely nebbish. Sorry, get out there and enjoy yourself already!

  8. I arrived back in Australia on March 18th. Have not been anywhere since. Not even been out to a restaurant.

    I am supposed to be leaving tonight for the Maldives. Obviously not happening. So I am off in a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney and back home via the coastal towns hit hard by the fires. Also nervous. Am currently staying at the park Hyatt in Melbourne as in between houses. No club lounge but otherwise basically full service. Room cleaned every day and turn down service provided.

    Good luck. 4am here so ridiculously nervous too. Sadly no flights yet and as my status renewal begins with n August 1, I will hold off until then as this year obviously renewed.

    Safe travels.

  9. I’m envious 🙂 We had a month in Colorado booked and we were supposed to fly there next week from Europe. Still need to call Lufthansa for refund, sigh.

    Luckily we have managed to book a trip to Lofoten in Norway starting next week, should be great, too 🙂

  10. Flying is dumb, especially while in the second wave, especially residing in a state with an outbreak. Don’t be selfish. Look out for other people who are in the danger demographic. I protect you, you protect me.

  11. Wait, should you even be flying right now? You were telling us all to stay home and save lives. You know, flatten the curve, right? Remember, we’re still in the early innings of this pandemic.

  12. As a long time reader, going back to reading your trip reports is a way to return to normal life after months of lockdown. So at least for hotels keep the old format!

  13. Not sure if it’s on your itinerary, but I did this trip a few years ago and took some time to visit Escalante/Grand Staircase National Park and it was probably the best place I’ve visited in the domestic U.S.

    Sadly, the current administration has been fighting for it to no longer be a national park, so I fear its days are numbered.

    Might require a guide to go to the more unique parts, but if the park service is allowing those it’s 1000% worth a visit.

  14. Have you considered taking Winston on some trips? There’s a big segment of the population that travels with dogs and would be interested in trip reports from that perspective.

  15. Ben,
    If possible, check out Bryce Canyon at sunset. The rocks change colors as the sun sets – just magnificent.

  16. @bob second wave? We are still in the first wave. Other than the northeast where numbers have gone down a large portion of the country is either going up or stagnant without a meaningful drop in cases.

  17. 1. I’m glad to hear you’ve decided not to attempt any foreign travel, not trying to sneak into Iceland, etc. Domestic travel is what’s (barely) responsible for a while still.

    2. That said, I think you’re crazy to get on a plane right now, especially given 2A) where you live (that “curve” is a near-vertical line right now in your state), flying in/out of Florida is a high-risk behavior now (not quite as high as attending a Trump rally, but close); 2B) There is no reason to fly to get to your destination in this case. You spend a little time in the car, big deal, it would be soooo much safer and soooo much more responsible. The risks you are taking are entirely avoidable – bad call on the flights.

    3. You do realize that you are heading from one current outbreak epicenter to another outbreak epicenter? Things are going from bad to worse in Florida, also in the Southwest where you’re headed. And you needlessly greatly increase the risks by flying. And none of it is necessary. Dr. Fauci would not approve, at all.

    I’m considering a trip to the same area, but not until this fall, after things have become clearer. And fer cryin’ outloud, I’ll be driving, not flying. Yes, driving adds a few days to the trip. No big deal there, it’s part of the adventure (and yes, I have more miles and points than I can use, so it’s not about saving money – it’s about saving lives). I’m not making firm plans for that road trip until after I see how the current waves and spikes go – right now, things in your destination states look bad, and there’s no way I would fly into that currently.

    I hope you have a nice trip and do not regret it, but I think what you’re doing (the unnecessary flying part) is very irresponsible. If we are stuck in lockdowns next year and wearing masks forever, it will be because people got impatient and had no self discipline.

  18. Right now I wish I could evacuate Arizona. Things are getting ugly here and the governor has taken the head in the sand approach for now. According to one Harvard doctor AZ is now the worst spot in the world passing Brazil for new cases. Not sure how true that is but things have gone from 400-600 cases pre-opening, to 1000, 1500 and yesterday 2400 new cases.

    And with the average age out here in many areas it won’t be pretty if it doesn’t reverse itself quickly.

  19. As long as you wear a face mask anytime indoors in public spaces (stores, post office, restaurant when not eating) and outdoors when maintaining physical distance from others is not possible, thereby protecting others, in my opinion it’s all about how risk adverse you want to be about the possibility of catching the virus yourself. Seems you have made your call for this moment in time. Let’s see how that goes. Remember, some symptoms are quite mild. If you have bodily sensations that are unusual for you, you know the list, but remember they can be minor, you should get tested within 3-5 days of their occurrance. Good luck! Have fun.

  20. @Keith

    Thats surprising I hopped on a Spirit flight a few days ago doing LGA-FLL and they actually deplanned a passenger who was not wearing a mask.

    I have actually been pleasantly surprised with the amount of masks being worn on planes.

  21. I’m glad you are traveling, but don’t do it for me/us. Do it for yourself. It seems like you are using “us” as your excuse for traveling. Just be truthful and say you wanted to travel.

  22. @bob: Second wave, third wave, …, tenth wave, the world is ending, etc… Some will stay caved in like you but others will live their lives. Yes, the new order is different so masks, more cleaning (tks God), social distancing, … but life goes on. Relax and if you are not on the group of risk (elderly and pre existing conditions) and take a few precautions you will survive.

  23. Winston is adorable.

    If you see someone on the plane without a mask, make a scene.

    Don’t lick anything.

    Please report back how much water they give you, I get very thirsty on flights.

  24. @Bill: take a look at Minnesota. The Governor painted an Armagedom scenario that never even got close to his prediction. Then there were the protesters, looters, rioters, etc…. not keeping social distancing at all. Then there was the funeral for George Floyd where over one thousand people attended all cramped inside a small closed place. People were allowed to sing, give speeches and the Governor and local mayor attended with their families. Now, look at the cases in Minnesota. It has been downhill since May and over 90% of the deaths are in nursing homes. So what is the problem in flying using masks?

  25. Once you see those national parks, you’ll know where the scenery from the Road Runner cartoons came from.


  26. Not hard to see why America’s cases keep going up.

    Looking on bewildered at the attitude in America from this side of the pond.

  27. Having just completed an 8 day trip for work, one that was focused on saving my business rather than flying around for pleasure, I can assure you there is no joy in moving around right now. Perhaps a National Park will be different. But the tension is palpable everywhere. Service is minimal. Staffing is barely existent (hotels can’t get many employees to come back). And there is an eerie atmosphere to the entire process. You have to think, clean, plan and process every move to have just the basic care for yourself and others.

    With that, have fun, lol.

  28. @bob and @Dick Bupkiss

    What do you need to be shown for you to understand that the risk of dying from COVID-19 is orders of magnitude lower than dying in a car crash? If the “danger demographic” expects the rest of the world to stop for their safety when they are able to mitigate their risk simply by staying at home, I can’t say I have much sympathy. If you are at risk, you should be staying home. How does your staying at home require the young and healthy also to stay at home?

  29. I would not recommend flying now. Covid-19 cases are up in many states, almost half of the states. Some states are seeing more than 50% increases and this is not all from more testing as the number of deaths is also increasing. (If you die from Covid-19, that is hard to not count but if you are coughing and don’t go to the hospital, you can miss being counted).

    Sorry, Lucky. I hope you won’t have to depend on luck not to catch Covid-19 and not pass it to anyone. Young people die, too. They also get life long health problems. Not everyone but enough.

  30. Best of luck! I just got back from a very similar trip with my wife and two kids and we had a fantastic time. Make sure you do Scenic Route 12 from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef, probably my favorite drive ever. Also, we loved the W Aspen – it’s open and is a steal at 50k points with Marriott’s new promo.

  31. Are you going to make a stop at Amangiri? Please review the new tents if you can! I’m curious! By the way, the food at Amangiri is all included and amazing!

  32. Totally irresponsible but you’ve been signaling this for weeks with the Iceland posts. So to say you’ve determined domestic travel is safest doesn’t ring true given your nonstop Iceland posts. And to go from one hotspot to another is rich.

  33. Also, proud to hear you are traveling right now. Best decision I ever made was to go on vacation during the panic.

  34. I’m absolutely stunned at the amount of people who demand that the “at risk demographic” simply stay at home and everyone else should go about your lives. Do you realize how many people fall into that high-risk demographic? It’s not just your elderly grandparents. It’s your sister with asthma. Your friend with diabetes. Your mom who is recovering from cancer. Your cousin who just got an organ transplant and is on immunosuppressants. What you’re advocating is that people who are either elderly or disabled basically be shut out of society for months at a time so that “young and healthy” people can go about enjoying their lives. You want the world to go on as if nothing had happened while basically ignoring the existence of the most vulnerable among as as, ya know, people, because it’s inconvenient to you. Where is even an ounce of your human compassion? Why do young and healthy people matter more to you than elderly or disabled people?

  35. Don’t make the mistake of only going to Arches when you are in Moab. Canyonlands is just 30-45 minutes away and in my opinion is one of the best national parks, especially since there will be less people. Do all the pull offs and you’ll find it has a great arch photo op. Drive to the end of the main road, park, and do the amazing 1-3 mile walk along the cliff side. Depending on how you want to experience things, you can do Arches in the morning and Canyonlands in the afternoon, etc.

  36. We’re just an hour up the road in Boca, if Winston needs a few days of spoiling and laying by the pool (ok, being fed treats on the sofa), hit us up!

  37. I personally would, if possible, take an extended roadtrip, but I think it’s okay to fly if you’re reponsible and I hope that you enjoy your trip. I’ve been to those regions many times and loved every second. Highly recommend visiting Bryce – probably my favourite US national park. Zion was too crowded when I visited in 2018.

    Looks like I will be stuck in Sweden this summer. This will be my first summer in 20 years without visiting the US. Not looking forward to it. At all. (Even though ”our” part of Sweden is very beautiful in the summer.)

  38. @Lucky – Fly! Have fun! Fly some more and report back.

    If flying was against the rules I would have a different POV. But flying is available to anyone that wants to partake. So go. Enjoy. Ignore the haters!

  39. Just want to add my voice to the “Winston is adorable “ crowd. I don’t think I’ll be traveling for at least a year but we are older and my husband is high risk. Enjoy your trip and stay safe!

  40. If I had a German passport I’d go to Frankfurt in a heartbeat. With all those half empty business class cabins. Merica !

  41. Utterly stupid to be banging on and on about people being irresponsible by not wearing masks, which are of questionable value, when you then go off travelling for non essential reasons. The entitlement of the travel blogger seemingly knows no limits.

  42. @Sally.
    You say ” less Winston”. Whats wrong with you? Guess you are only a cat lover. All animals bring us joy in these sad times.

  43. Glad you stopped deliberating and I truly hope you are able to enjoy your “first trip”.

    Just want to stress to all it is not just the elderly or those identified at risk.. there are folks in their 40s & 50s with no preexisting health issues now “living” in a coma and have been for weeks .. others with permanent organ damage.. it is not just the lungs that can be affected… and it can take anyone …

  44. “No more spending paragraphs trying to justify yourself to the “travel-shaming” crowd. It’s unbecoming.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Was gonna recommend a testosterone supplement after weeks of watching you waffle all over the place. It was tough to read. I’m headed out on a first trip this weekend. It’s time to go. Could care less what the whining ninnies on here say. Enjoy!

  45. I flew last week to RSW on southwest both ways. Wasn’t nervous at all. Airports were empty and planes half Full. It was peaceful but lack of concessions was a challenge

  46. @Lucky

    Be safe. Living in Utah, I can tell you that a large portion of the state refuses to wear masks. Parks have been overwhelmed during any holiday weekend and we now have an upswing of infection rates because of people refusing to physical distance properly and wear masks. Arches had to close down a couple of times because of how many people swarmed to it.

    I strongly suggest taking packed lunches and snacks while in the park and always doing take-out for your food. And be careful with the public toilets in the parks. I don’t know if they’ve opened them up again, but there is some evidence suggesting the spray from the toilets flushing can help spread COVID-19. And with a lot of the state refusing to take proper precautions, that just exacerbates things.

    But like someone mentioned, take time to check out some of the state parks. Goblin Valley and Canyonlands is great, as is Horseshoe Point.

  47. @Ralph, Thanks, you are killing my grandmother. You too Ben. I pray hope you are not visiting your mom any time soon.

  48. Couple things one to Bupkiss above the only states in SW that are having issues are AZ an TX. Flying right now is fine I have flown a few times on Southwest where it is mandatory to where a mask and yes was enforced by stews and middle seat empty. Risk on an airplane is extremely low and I don’t see where it is irresponsible to fly. This is something we need to learn to live with for a while. So get used to it. As far as national parks go I think you will find them very busy. I was stuck in a 2 hour line of cars trying to get into great Sand dunes park. Everyone is thinking the same thing. We are currently in Santa Fe hotel is great town is not crowded easy to sit outdoors at a resto majority of people I have seen are being responsible. Great hiking and easy to social distance. Personally I would avoid national parks and focus on some of the great small western towns that are anxious for you to visit and of the five I have traveled to In the last couple weeks on a road trip have been great. Yes some things like museums may not be open but can find plenty to do. Enjoy yourself and don’t listen to those telling you it is not. Nothing to be nervous about!

  49. Enjoy and have a great trip! Be sure to note Pre-check availability.

    From your care and concern, including wearing masks, you are being perfectly responsible in my view.

  50. @Lucky: Moab is awesome.

    Do the Corona Arch hike (it’s just outside Moab but not in either Canyonlands or Arches National Parks). Obvious joke aside – it’s just as stunning as any of the arches in the Parks, and not particularly busy.

    The full Devil’s Garden loop hike in Arches is well worth doing. One of the best day hikes I’ve ever taken. Do it early in the morning.

  51. I hope you guys have a great time.

    If your itinerary isn’t too firm, may I suggest a couple of things to visit in southern Utah.

    – Visit the Wave. It is restricted to some tours and a lottery system in Kanab, UT. The BLM website has all the info. If you can get a ticket, it will be a highlight of the trip.

    – Visit Peek-a-boo slot canyon just outside Kanab. It’s kind of on the back side of Zions.

    – If you are staying nearer to Amangiri and/or Page, AZ, then take a tour of Antelope Canyon. It can be accessed from the lake or from above. Both are great.

    Again, I hope you have a great time. You won’t be able to see it all, so you will just have to come back.

  52. If you are anxious and all the drama that comes with it, why are you travelling?

    Thanks to cute and adorable Winston for saving this post.

  53. @Santastico Nice try at whataboutism. Its not a serious argument. Cases are going up in 21 states and I don’t believe Minn is one of them. In fact its many states in the south that opened too early and which aren’t known to have large scale protests.

  54. So let me understand. You are flying and traveling electively. You are flying out of a city where there is a high increase of COVID cases. Your mother is recovering from cancer, and there is a high incidence of asymptomatic transmission. Your choices demonstrates immaturity and lack of responsibility. Maybe you can turn this blog into a healthcare blog on COVID with first person account of the accommodations and dining at Jackson Health System. In the words of Forest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does”.

  55. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety; Winston is one of them. Simply put: he doesn’t understand you’re coming back, and probably assumes you’re not.It’s incumbent upon you, as the de facto parents, to minimize his stress, by making appropriate arrangements for his care, including frequent video calls ( assuming he responds well to them)
    Ideally have someone come to house/dog sit.

  56. I used to go to southern Utah about 3 times a year to hike and mountain bike. It’s fabulous country. Here’s a few things to at least consider:
    In Arches the Devils Garden hike is quite nice, the hike itself is better than Delicate Arch but I’d understand wanting to see Delicate Arch too.
    The Island in the Sky unit of Canyonlands is easily accessible from Moab. It’s a great drive with iconic viewpoints.
    You didn’t describe your driving route but if you are planning to drive through Capital Reef I’d highly recommend taking Notom Bullfrog Basin Road (Intersects with Utah 24 just east of Capital Reef) down to Burr Trail (a road) and then connecting to Hwy 12 at the town of Boulder. You can also do some easy day hikes in the Capital Reef portion of the Burr Trail. It’s a really pretty drive with hardly any people. All roads are paved or well graded. Google Streetview has this whole route if you’re nervous about dirt roads.
    In Zion you really must do the Virgin River Narrows. And depending on water level I’d highly, highly recommend continuing past the end of the trail pavement and just hiking in the river. I believe no permit is needed as far as Orderville Gulch. Google streetview/hiking view also has the river portion of this hike. Your feet get wet but the entire Virgin Narrows is my favorite hike ever. This portion would be a good introduction.
    Whatever you decide, enjoy!

  57. Also one more thing. If you haven’t already, read Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. It’s short as far as books go. Because if you don’t, and then you start waxing poetic about the desert southwest, you are just a poser. And I say that only slightly in jest

    “You can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you’ll see something, maybe.”

  58. I’m a longtime reader of this blog. But this is a new low – I’m incredibly disappointed to see you’re taking a completely unnecessary vacation right now. At the beginning of this pandemic I really appreciated your cautious approach. How depressing to see your caution evaporate so quickly.

  59. @Lucky (or are you going just by Ben now?)

    My wife and I just did a similar trip. Like, we got home yesterday. Our 12 day trip was: MCI-PHX, drive to Scottsdale (HR Scottsdale, Andaz Scottsdale), north to Sedona (HRC Sedona), detour to South Rim of Grand Canyon (North rim and east highway is closed due to fires), Lake Powell/Page to see the lake, dam, and Horseshoe Bend (HP Page/Lake Powell), then over to Zion for 4 amazing days of hiking (HIE Springdale), and finally down to LAS to fly back to MCI.

    I have lots of thoughts about this trip, so if you have questions about hikes or where to get takeout, please ask me! Hint: The food in Springdale is awful, so bring groceries. My wife also wrote some hints in this TA post about Zion in the time of COVID. You should read it quickly–your time in the park will be better if you plan ahead: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g143057-d10035237-r757591987-Zion_National_Park-Zion_National_Park_Utah.html?m=19905

  60. @bob My old high school teacher just told me a story of how she was at the scene of a motorcycle accident. The victim was extremely grizzled and had no pulse. In a crowd of dozens, many with phone camera in hand, NOBODY, offered to help her perform CPR. Enough of this “we are all in this together” “I protect you you protect me” bullshit. The covid crisis has made people MORE selfish if anything. And to be perfectly frank with you, the most selfish things I have heard/seen done came not from the anti mask covid is a hoax conspiracy crowd, but from the people most afraid of the virus.

  61. Get on the plane already. Enough of these types of posts just to generate “interactions”.
    Yes, it’s your blog and you will write what you want. However as I am notionally a consumer of your services (although let’s face it, us readers are the product bloggers sell to banks) I am also free to comment. Have a safe trip.

  62. Hey Lucky, have a great time! You’re a smart young man and will play it safe.

    Great advice from readers about places to visit in Utah! Makes me want to visit. Actually I did do a road trip in May a few years ago, packed with shorts and t-shirts, not realizing/planning that there was going to be snow showers – ooops!

    I did trial a road trip from LA to Scottsdale in mid May, sorta for the same reason. Wore my mask and gloves everywhere, and got gnarly stares, as most in AZ didn’t use protection. Now look at AZ. No matter what looks you might/will get, where the protection…but you know that.

    By the way, was formerly traveling all the time for work before COVID, and my cats also stared me down when they saw me packing my bag. It’s not just dogs.

    In your new format, include national park reviews!

    Have a safe and wonderful time!

  63. Poor Winston 🙁

    My old cat used to know when I was going away, she would sit in my suitcase and not allow me to pack. I hope you bring him back some nice treats and toys from your trip.

  64. @Sarah Who wants to hear about thoughts and feelings, the things that make us human, right? Let’s all be robots!

  65. @Paul, my cat did the same. Sat in the suitcase while I tried to pack and then waited outside on the front porch the first night I was gone all night. My wife managed to get him back in the house the next day and he moped until I returned. Animals are sensitive and often bond with their “humans”.

    That being said, this is the longest I have gone without flying and I am getting withdrawals. I have pushed my April, 20 trip to Asia back to July and now to October. Canton fair, a truly Global event, and the HK trade-fairs can not happen with so many travel bans. We will see what happens.

    Safe travels to all who do when they do (and we all will).

  66. LOVE Winston! Thanks for sharing such CUTENESS! Also, those who are young and healthy should get out. Those with compromised immune systems should stay in. Go and enjoy! No reason to shut down the entire world economy and crush everyone’s lives. I say you should go out and support the travel industry employees. Looking at the science, those with weakened immune systems or who are elderly should stay protected. That doesn’t mean the whole world needs to do so. Scientific reports say Covid is becoming less virulent as it mutates. We will enjoy reading your posts and living vicariously!

  67. Lucky, I have read your blog for years.

    This is the first time I recall seeing so many nasty comments posted.

    Perhaps those nasty folks are suffering the effects of isolation.

    I know it is sometimes difficult to ignore misanthropes but it can be done.

    Happy travels

  68. I just went from LA to Vegas to Moab the last few days. In Colorado atm.

    TLDR…tourist spots and hotels are much much busier than I expected. Not quite normal levels but getting close.

    Vegas was moderately busy on a Thursday night. Def not as busy as normal but still busy. Mask wearing in casinos was at best 20%. Hotel said they were sold out for the weekend(altho they are only selling 60% of their rooms).

    Moab was very busy on Saturday(yesterday). It felt not much different to the the time I’d been before, pre covid. Many hotels including mine were sold out. Mask wearing inside shops was maybe 60%. In my hotel mask wearing by guests was maybe 20%. I went to Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Both were moderately busy.

    What is interesting about mask wearing is how varied it is. In some places I stopped e.g. a mall in St. George, Utah, I was literally the only shopper out of 100s wearing a mask. Same with other rural spots I stopped in. There seems to be a very clear political divide on mask wearing. In towns and cities that are mostly conservative, mask usage is low or non existent. In towns and cities that would mostly be democratic voting, mask wearing is much much higher.

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