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The Flip Side: Volume 8

Stories to Keep You Outdoor-Inspired in Our New Normal

The Summer Travel Forecast

Wondering if a flight is off the table for the foreseeable future? Experts estimate that many of us will be up in the air again by mid- to late-summer, and that the great American road trip will see a major comeback. If you’re planning an adventure now, remember to check travel restrictions and local outbreak conditions first—some areas, like the E.U., are still banning tourists. [Afar]


Spain Bleaches a Beach

In what they say was an attempt to make a beach safe to return to for local children emerging from quarantine, Spanish officials sprayed bleach over a 1.2-mile stretch of shore, which serves as a protected habitat for migratory birds. The officials have issued an apology. [BBC]

Access Fund’s Advice on Climbing

If you can’t wait any longer to return to the crag, the Access Fund has put together a short guide to hitting climbing areas that are open right now. While we still don’t know how long the novel coronavirus hangs out on surfaces such as sandstone towers or anchor chains, you can minimize risk by bailing on crowded climbing areas and throwing hand sanitizer into your pack. [Access Fund]


Mountainfilm Fest Streaming This May

Telluride’s longstanding Mountainfilm Fest is going virtual. A $75 Bivvy Pass unlocks access to over 100 films streaming from May 15-25. Catch a portrait of a Moroccan trail runner, a film from Pattie Gonia, a journey with an alpha wolf in the Alps, the first ski descent of Lhotse, and more stories about the alpine. [Mountainfilm Fest]

Poll: Is Solo Mountain Biking Worth It?

PinkBike wondered whether riders would throw in the grease rag if they had to bike solo due to a pandemic indefinitely. Are we riding for the dirt or the camaraderie? A community poll revealed that while the majority of us love company on the trails, we’d keep at it even if we had to ride alone forever. [PinkBike]


Will the Tour Go On?

While the Tour de France start date has been pushed from June to August, the cycling community is wondering whether it will be feasible at all. With throngs of spectators, pelotons in which the average distance between riders is closer to six inches than six feet, and crowd restrictions in France through September, the annual Tour may meet a similar fate as the Summer Games. [The Guardian]


Mountain Guide Loses Life in an Avalanche

Dan Escalante was skiing the town’s iconic Red Lady Mountain (also known as Mt. Emmons) on April 28 with three partners, when he was caught in a wet slab avalanche. Dan, who succumbed to traumatic injuries at the scene, was an international mountain guide and all-around beloved Crested Butte, CO local. [Backcountry Magazine]

Beat the Crowds, Camp Dispersed

We can only camp so many nights in our backyard or living room before we miss sleeping a little further afield. While many campgrounds are reopening with warmer weather and loosening restrictions, it can be hard to maintain safe distance at a packed campground with shared facilities. Your best bet? A dispersed campsite. You’ll save a few bucks for beer and escape the crowds. [Backcountry Stories]


Be Their Guest: Airbnb Experiences

Since few and far between are seeking out short-term rentals right now, Airbnb has set its sights on virtual hosting, in which people the world over stage interactive Zoom experiences similar to those you might have during actual travel. Priced between a few bucks and nearly $100 per person, the experiences range from the delightful (sommelier wine tastings) and the fun (drag queen storytelling) to the truly bizarre (visiting pups in the Chernobyl fallout zone). [Airbnb]


Man Escapes Pandemic at a Disney World Ghost Island

An Alabama man was recently found illegally camping at Disney World’s long-abandoned Discovery Island. While the amusement park has been temporarily closed since mid-March due to the outbreak, the island has been permanently shuttered since 1999. The man claimed he was unaware that he was trespassing and had been relishing his time on what he considered a tropical paradise. [NPR]