The Simpsons, Cont'd

MY DAUGHTER, Elizabeth Dalmas (age 12), read your article on the Simpsons and the mystery surrounding which state they actually live in [Springfield 101, Oct. 31]. Elizabeth told me she knew it was Springfield, Ill. I asked her how she knew.

On our summer vacation, Elizabeth purchased a funny pretend "driver's license" with Bart Simpson's picture on it. The top of it says "Springfield, IL." Hope you find this information entertaining!

Linda McGill

Leonardtown, Md.

Travel Q&A and You

FOR THE reader who asked about the advisability of doing a day trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, I have an alternative to driving the five or six hours to the South Rim [Travel Q&A, Nov. 7] . The canyon can be accessed from the West Rim by going through the Haulapia Indian Reservation. You take the same route out of Las Vegas and past the Hoover Dam, continuing on into Arizona. At some point there is a billboard advertising the West Rim. Make a left turn and follow this road. You get to the canyon in no more than two hours. I have been there three times; on my first visit I went with a local tour company (see for information).

This route does not have all the activity or traffic that the South Rim has, but it is still stunning to see and experience the canyon.

The reservation has a small airfield that is used for aerial tours of the canyon. The tribe has a "town," Peach Springs, with a small motel and restaurant, about an hour from the West Rim viewing site. Just make sure you have water and a full tank of gas.

June M. Jeffries


THERE IS another alternative to those you suggested. About an hour north of Las Vegas is a spectacular state park called the Valley of Fire, with a fine visitors center and museum, as well as some short trails and drives. Especially interesting is a walk up a trail to Mouse's Tank that offers a fine collection of petroglyphs along the way.

Begin the excursion by driving north on I-15 to Exit 75 and taking a right toward the park. There is a store there run by the Moapa tribe where one can pick up a snack or sandwiches for lunch. There is no food available past this point on the way to or in the park.

After visiting the park for an hour or two, proceed east toward Lake Mead. An option at the lakeshore is to drive a few miles north to the small town of Overton and the Lost City Museum, which tells the story of the Anasazi Indians and the settling of the area by the white man. Continue south to Hoover Dam, well worth a visit even though tours are less extensive than they were before 9/11. From there it is an easy drive west to Las Vegas.

David W. Weiss


THE YELLOWSTONE Association Institute offers numerous activities during the winter as well as the summer [Travel Q&A, Oct. 24] . The nonprofit Yellowstone Association ( funds and provides educational products and services for Yellowstone National Park. It is the National Park Service's primary partner in providing educational programs, exhibits and publications for park visitors.

Bill Ryerson


THIS IS in regard to the question from Chris Frillici about what to do in Banff in the summer [Travel Q&A, Oct. 31]. As a former Albertan, I highly reccommend going to the Calgary Stampede. Since most likely you'll be flying into Calgary anyway, spend a day at the Stampede. It's unforgettable (as is Banff).

Angela Sumter

Dumfries, Va.

I SECOND the suggestion of one-country travel over a seven-day period, with Florence as a base [Travel Q&A, Oct. 24]. Considering flying Lufthansa via Frankfurt to Florence. Instead of day trips, rent a car and stay at the delightful and inexpensive agriturisomo B&B, La Govina di Sopra, in tiny San Columba, Monterrigione, and visit the Chianti area, Siena, and the fortress towns of Monterrigione, Volterra and San Gimignano on separate day trips.

Bruce Birchman


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