My grandfather Joe was an airline pilot. Back in the 1950s, his was an improbably exotic vocation. He flew flying boats, vast propeller-driven Lockheed Constellations and then, at the dawn of the jet age, Boeing 707s. These shining aircraft transported his young family to locations across the globe: from London to Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Honolulu and San Francisco. Joe’s wanderlust never eased once he hit the ground. In an era before most cars had air conditioning, he took his wife and two sons on epic road trips across the Australian Outback and through the heart of America.
One of my happiest early memories is of exploring America’s national parks, albeit not in person. I grew up in the sleepiest small town imaginable, rarely venturing far but often looking in awe through piles of Joe’s old photos. My favorite series of these covers a journey from the San Francisco Bay Area across the Rockies to Reno, his VW Beetle passing giant sequoias, marauding bears and open desert – all captured in pastel-tinged Kodachrome.
I hope the excitement my grandfather’s family felt on first witnessing those scenes also courses through the pages of this issue of Lonely Planet magazine. Our writers and photographers work in partnership to deliver authentic and sometimes mind-blowing views of the places they love. Through celebrating summer in America – our cover theme – we find ourselves standing at the edge of Yellowstone’s psychedelic Grand Prismatic Spring, and hear from a ranger dedicated to preserving America’s original national park (p. 62). We head west to Nevada, to meet the artisans keeping exquisite traditional crafts alive (p. 44). And we pass between the icons and hidden backstreets of New York, to outline a tour of the city’s greatest movie locations (p. 72).
Lonely Planet has a 44-year heritage of encouraging and inspiring travelers, underscored by the belief that thoughtful travel is a force for good. If you identify with our values, please support us by taking out a subscription; you’ll find our best offer on p. 17.
Peter Grunert, Group Editor