July brings some reopenings

In the Loop

By DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

July brings us closer to traveling somewhere, though “reopening” has become a mixed bag, as you will see in this round-up of the possibility of short hops and longer trips in the Golden State.

How we go has a great deal to do with the decision. Some airlines will book to full capacity. Many if not most will require wearing a mask throughout the flight. Refusal to comply can land you on a restricted access or even no-fly list. For rail, Amtrak has restored and/or modified service on certain routes, while announcing a range of precautions, such as reconfigured seating and carry-out only in café cars. If you drive, you enjoy the safety of that little bubble of isolation, your car. But you will have to leave it for restrooms, meals, and lodging. Prepare yourself in advance (for instance, pack sandwiches). A camper provides certain advantages; you take your toilet, sink, kitchen, and bed with you. However, whether automobile or RV, you’ll have to touch gas pumps. For this and other practical considerations, have a supply of hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, and a can of spray disinfectant, if feasible.

If you head for the open road, realize that motorists have embraced lighter traffic as an excuse to ignore speed limits. Wild animals have grown bolder, too. Expect at least a few on remote stretches of highway.

To determine what in fact has opened, check websites, and pay strict attention to rules, regulations, and limitations. Whatever you hear on TV, or read here, might change overnight. Don’t wait until you arrive to surprise and disappoint yourself. For example:

To the north, Yosemite has opened with a phased approach for those with day-use reservations, reservations for in-park lodging or camping, and wilderness or Half Dome permits (https://www.nps.gov/yose, 209-372-0200).

To the south, Downtown Disneyland begins reopening on Thursday, July 9. Disneyland Resort hotels, Disneyland Park, and Disney California Adventure remain closed (disneyland.disney.go.com; 714-781-INFO). To the southwest on the coast in Long Beach for the Aquarium of the Pacific, visitors must have a timed ticket or online reservation before coming; everyone aged two and over must wear a face covering that covers nose and mouth at all times except when eating, and will have their temperatures checked before entry (www.aquariumofpacific.org; 562-590-3100).

Farther afield: To hop a bus from Las Vegas for daily tours to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon. Hoover Dam, and Grand Canyon West, board the National Park Express that advertises UVC-LED Light Technology to decontaminate their environment (www.NationalParkExpress.com).

Above all, avoid crowds, especially indoors. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Practice social seating of six feet apart. Remember that when you and the folks around you wear masks, that means two barriers of protection between you and the next guy for each encounter. Please stay safe.

Story First Published: 2020-07-03