Visiting a National Park in 2021? Take Food!

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Visiting a national park in 2021 is a completely different experience. Some national parks require reservations or entry permits, while others may have limited services. And then there are the crowds. People are being turned away from Arches National Park at 8 AM because the entrance line backs up to the highway, and when we visited Glacier National Park last week there was no parking at Logan Pass at 8 AM. Usually getting to a national park early in the morning will give you the edge, but that’s not always the case in 2021. Continue reading

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Navajo Nation Tribal Parks Closed Due to COVID-19

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If a Southwestern US road trip is in your future, please take note that the Navajo Nation tribal parks are currently closed due to COVID-19. The Navajo Nation’s roads also remain closed to visitors and tourists until further notice. This includes the following parks and recreation areas. Continue reading

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COVID-19 Travel — Visit Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove this Summer

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The Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove

As a lifelong Sierra National Forest  resident, normally I wouldn’t set foot in Yosemite National Park in the summer months. There are just way too many people there for my comfort, during what I affectionately refer to as the “stupid tourist season”. But this isn’t a normal year – it’s a COVID-19 year. So with day-use passes required, and visitation capped at my favorite national park, I decided to roll the dice and pay a visit to Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove one hot August day. And here’s the skinny on how you can do the same thing for a wheelchair-accessible day trip to this secluded giant sequoia grove. Continue reading

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Castaneda Hotel Offers Creative Covid-19 Safety Solution

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Installing a creative safety partition in the Castaneda Hotel

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly taken its toll on the travel and hospitality industry. For the most part leisure travel has been discouraged, and in some cases even prohibited for the past two months. And let’s face it, even if it were permitted, I expect there would have been a high vacancy rate. But now that some counties are beginning to open up, hoteliers are tasked with yet another hurdle — they must create policies and procedures to keep both their guests and their employees safe. Continue reading

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Ditch the Crowds and Add These Stops to Your Summer Road Trip

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The past month has been rough on the travel industry – and on travelers. Cruises have been cancelled, travel has been disrupted and people are thinking twice about getting on an airplane. Folks who are immunocompromised, and those over a certain age (and that age varies depending on which expert you consult) have been urged to stay away from crowds, and even to avoid cruise travel. And although some folks call that fear mongering, I think it’s just plain old common sense. Continue reading

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Free Accessible Public Transportation Coming to Kansas City

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Headed to Kansas City, Missouri? The good news is that there’s plenty of wheelchair-accessible public transportation there. And the better news is, soon it will all be free.

Earlier this month the city council passed a resolution the directed the City Manager to include a funding request in the fiscal year budget, to make Zero-Fare Transit a reality. This plan is a priority of the newly elected mayor Quinton Lucas, who was endorsed by the Kansas City Transportation Authority. So it seems everyone is on board with the proposal

To be fair, the KC Streetcar (http://kcstreetcar.org/) has been fare-free since it’s inception. It also boasts excellent access, as it has a very inclusive design. There is level boarding at all streetcar stops, with priority seating for wheelchairs near the door. The streetcar runs a two mile route through the downtown area, from Union Station to the River North Market Loop. Stops along the way include Crossroads, Kauffman Center, Power & Light, Metro Center and the library. Additionally, riders can transfer to a Ride KC Bus at Union Station, Crossroads and River Market North.

The Ride KC Bus (https://ridekc.org/) system will probably be most impacted by the new fare-free resolution, as currently bus fares are $1.50 per ride. As with the streetcar, all of the buses are wheelchair-accessible, and they either have lifts or ramps, with wheelchair-seating in front.

Kudos to Kansas City for being the first US city to implement this system-wide free fare scheme. It’s a great way for visitors get around, and soon it will be easier on the wallet too.

 

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Excellent Accessible Amsterdam Resource

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amsterdamI’m always on the lookout for good resources for slow walkers and wheelchair-users; but I have to admit I stumbled upon Able Amsterdam (http://www.ableamsterdam.com) quite by accident. Either way, this combination blog and resource page is a must-read if Amsterdam is on your travel radar. Continue reading

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Grand Canyon Maswik Lodge Renovation Project Breaks Ground

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Great news – Xanterra broke ground this month on their massive $30 million renovation project at Maswik Lodge in the Grand Canyon. They will totally demolish and replace the five buildings that comprise Maswik South, and repair and replace the infrastructure around them. Continue reading

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