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Celebrity Travel: Go away with Will Clinger

Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

“I thought Sasquatch was a creature primarily of the Pacific Northwest,” said Will Clinger, the Chicago-based host of the PBS series, “Wild Travels.” “But in a segment we shot for (the PBS series), we were surprised to hear from members of the Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, Colorado, that there have been hundreds of Yeti sightings in that neck of the woods — even more surprising when you consider that on our 2-1/2-hour drive to Bailey, we didn't even see a squirrel.”

Q: If you had to cancel travel plans due to the pandemic, where were they to?

A: We've had to cancel eight trips for “Wild Travels” due to COVID-19. The ones I really hated to lose were to San Francisco for St. Stupid's Day and to Beaver, Oklahoma, for the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship. I guess there's always next year.

Q: COVID has made everyone think differently about how we travel. Have you been taking any trips not related to work?

A: My fiancee, Lauralynn, and I got stir-crazy last March and took a not-so-short road trip through the Southwest. We managed to avoid hotels completely by staying in things like a tiny house, an Airstream, a tepee and, yes, even a yurt. Locally, we've fully utilized the Chicago park system on foot and by bike.

Q: What is the most touristy spot you've visited?

 

A: We were in Tombstone, Arizona, not long ago for a segment on the historic Birdcage Theater. While that building was suitably authentic — down to the 40-plus bullet holes in the walls and ceiling — the rest of the town is pretty much re-created. Even Tombstone's tombstones are not all originals. So, the catering to tourists is a little relentless — though a simulated gunfight in the street is never unwelcome.

Q: What was the first trip you took as a child?

A: The first one I remember was a road trip from Warren, Pennsylvania, to Miami Beach, Florida. I vaguely recall my mother doing perfect dives from a very high diving board and taking on a beached jellyfish with a stick.

Q: What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

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