Home of the Brave

"BOB LEVEY'S AMERICA" [July 11] was very interesting and informative. However, the leg of the journey from Phoenix to Los Angeles (assuming it was via I-10) indicated Bob and his son went through Death Valley. The problem is Death Valley is about 200 miles north of I-10. The interstate does run along the southern border of Joshua Tree National Park, which is probably what he meant.

Robert A. Goodwin


HAVING CROSSED crossed the country several times, I found Levey's article very interesting. What surprised me is his "bottom line." He says: "The $4,447 tab . . . saved us more than $10,000 over what a professional moving company would have charged." I don't know how much furniture his mother had, but I just checked the bill for moving us from Reno, Nev., to Manassas in 1995. Although our possessions occupied two-thirds of a big 18-wheeler, our bill was $4,801. We did all the packing ourselves, and we had to check with several movers to find an acceptable price. I don't know how prices have changed since, but $14,000 seems high.

Paul Mathieu


High Hopes

AS NEPALESE who have experienced American culture firsthand, we read with great interest Mike Klesius's "Everyman's Everest" [June 27]. But we were disappointed that Nepal herself seemed missing.

Mr. Klesius compares our mountains with many others, including Mont Blanc, which is European-romanticized, famous for skiing, and symbolic of nature controlled. In contrast, Mount Everest and its nearby peaks are integral to a centuries-old religious view of nature, which human beings respect and with which they cooperate, not attempt to control. Years ago, native Sherpas prayed to God before their climb.

We do not understand why such an experienced, native guide apparently neglects to introduce climbers to the basics of our culture (e.g., the sacred nature of the mountains; our socioeconomic status; the need not to pollute our environment by littering on the trail, whose unhappy condition is a recent consequence of tourists). We are disappointed that such climbers as Mr. Klesius had minimal or no contact with our people and their daily way of life.

Suresh Sapkota

Ujiwal Amatya


Food Fight

"FRESH WATERS" [June 13] featured Craig Stoltz's narrative of the beauty of Leelanau County, Mich. While applauding the exposure this story generated, and agreeing that the beaches here outclass the Atlantic Seaboard, we think the author was woefully wrong about the quality of our restaurants and lodging.

Six months of the year I am a Washingtonian. The other six I operate my bed-and-breakfast inn in Leelanau County and am a sometimes local restaurant reviewer. And I can tell you this: If seviche served cool with a minted cucumber salad and creme fraiche is your style, you'll find it here in Leelanau. Fabulous food is readily available in Leelanau County. Have you tried Ottawa/Chippawa wild game cuisine? Or whitefish pate?

As for his lodging disappointment: The county is full of charming B&Bs nestled in vineyards, by waterfalls and streams, and overlooking Lake Michigan--which are the lodging-of-choice because Leelanau "discourages" chain motels, and there are none to be found. Period.

Jhaki Freeman-Jordan,

Fig Leaf B&B

Leelanau County, Mich.

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