Be There In a Minute With Bill Newcott

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The Thing About "The Thing," Dragoon, AZ

It's scary season, and what's scarier than running across a mysterious being on a lonely Arizona roadside?

Salt Lake City: The Two-Hour Airport Tour to Temple Square

You've got four hours between flights at Salt Lake City Airport. You see the signs for Temple Square tours promising to get you back for your next plane. Do you take the chance. If you're Bill Newcott, the answer is, "Of course!"

For More From Bill, Visit www.BillNewcott.com

Quick Travel Takes

The Grandest Circle

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I'll never forget glancing at the click-clacking arrivals board at LAX in 1980 and seeing Pan Am Flight 1, destination "Around The World," was about to depart. These days, I figured, round-the-world itineraries were a thing of the past, but guess what: They're not! No one airline books them anymore, but alliances like OneWorld, SkyTeam, and  StarAlliance do. For $4,000 or so, the world is yours!

Small World Travelers

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The intimacy of a river cruise meets the luxury of an ocean liner with Vantage Cruise Lines' new small seagoing ships, Ocean Explorer and Sea Odyssey. Vantage has long been one of the best values in European river cruising; the new ships, launching in 2021 and 2022, will travel around the globe — with just 170 guests in 77 cabins. And in keeping with Vantage's appeal for single travelers, 15 cabins will be solo accommodations. 

Your Face On Their Head!

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You really ARE the beer you drink! At the Guinness Storehouse attraction in Dublin, Ireland, you can have a selfie "printed" on the head of Guinness' iconic black and white stout. They call it the STOUTie, and the process involves arranging millions of natural malt molecules on the top of a pint. Guinness' new brew ha-ha is just the latest of countless reasons to visit Dublin's fair city. 

The Knife is In The Mail

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How many pocket knives, nail scissors and other implements of destruction have you surrendered to TSA over the years? At Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) I spotted this ingenious service just past Security: For a fee they'll mail your confiscated precious pointy things for you!

To Do: Run, Run

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If you're tired of running laps at the local high school track, this tour company is a runner's dream. Sports Tours International will organize your flight transfers, accommodations, and entry fees for running events around the world. So whether it's China's Great Wall Marathon (above) Myanmar's Bagan Temple Marathon, or South Africa's  Two Oceans Marathon (Atlantic to the Indian), all you need to supply is the running shoes.  

Secrets of Shoe Packing

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How many shoes do you pack for a trip? A decidedly non-scientific survey by Trip Advisor found that most men are okay with one or two pairs of shoes, and women generally need no more than three: A dressy pair, sandals, and walking shoes. "I always take boots, but I wear them on the plane since they take up too much room in my suitcase," one travel savvy woman noted. 


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By The Time I Got to woodstock (50 Years Later)

NationalGeographic.com (September, 2019)


CARL PORTER STRODE to a grassy rise overlooking the sweeping natural amphitheater where, 50 years earlier, more than 400,000 young people grooved to the sounds of their generation at a music festival billed as “An Aquarian Exposition.”


He threw his arms out, wing-like. As a gentle breeze tossed his curly gray hair, it seemed for a moment he might start spinning, like Julie Andrews on her mountaintop.


Indeed, these hills really were alive with the sound of music as the three days of Woodstock unfolded here a half-century ago. Today that music, and the spirit of one of the most raucous weekends in American history, still echoes in the hearts of those who were there, those who wish they were there, and those who say they were there but might have come up more than a few miles short.


“For 10 days before the music even began, I sat right here with my friends,” said Porter, indicating the spot where we stood. “Every once in awhile I’d walk down there to help build the stage.”

 

Of the nearly half-million kids who blanketed this hillside like a psychedelic quilt August 15-18, 1969, Porter seemed an unlikely prospect for ushering in the Age of Aquarius. He’d spent half his childhood in a farmhouse barely 10 miles from this spot—but his family also had a place in New York City, where he’d grown up frequenting the smoky coffee houses of Greenwich Village, soaking in the last of the Beat musicians and the first of the folk/rock crowd.


Faced with being drafted into the Vietnam War, Porter enlisted in the Air Force and was trained in Texas as an intelligence officer. He was set to ship out to the Far East in early September—giving him just enough time to drive home for this Woodstock concert he’d been hearing a lot about.


Porter and about 20 friends staked out their spot on this hillside—and then came the crowds.


“They swarmed over that hill back there,” he said, gesturing to the south, in the direction of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a museum celebrating both Woodstock and the 1960s. "It was like an army of ants. Pretty soon, if you moved your foot, another foot would take its place and you’d have to step down somewhere else. For the rest of the weekend, I never saw my friends again. But it didn’t matter. I had 400,000 other friends all around me.”


For weeks prior to the concert—as word spread about the sheer size of the expected crowd—the good people of Bethel and the surrounding communities in Sullivan County generally assumed a sense of mounting dread. The region, tucked into a rolling corner of New York’s Catskills, had for decades been known mostly for staid Borsch Belt resorts like Grossinger’s and The Concord. One look at the Woodstock posters informed them that Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin were not from the same universe as Henny Youngman and Joan Rivers.  (CONTINUE READING)

SEE MORE

The complete story of Bill's journey to Woodstock 50 Years Later is here, at NationalGeographic.com..

Video of the Day

The Air Force One Experience: Climb Aboard a replica Presidential 747

About Me

My Journey

Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel writer and editor; former Expeditions Editor of National Geographic Magazine and Travel Editor of AARP the Magazine

How I got started

The New York World's Fair--who knew there was such a big world out there?

Top destinations

I could live out my days on Santorini!

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