Hooray for Ouray

BEN BRAZIL'S article on Ouray, Colo. ["Ouray or the Highway," Aug. 14], brought back wonderful memories. After 9/11, my sister and I spent one day driving the Jeep trails Brazil described. We first headed northeast out of Telluride, through the ghost town of Tom Boy and then down through Yankee Boy into Ouray. From Ouray we headed up Engineer Pass and worked our way over to Lake City.

If we'd really understood the true character of the Jeep trails, we might not have attempted the drives. As it was, ignorance was bliss, and we will never forget the daunting experience or our exhilaration and sense of accomplishment. People who are not experienced at driving on primitive mountain roads should experience these trails only in a Jeep driven by a guide.

Sandy Dresser


I COULD not believe my eyes: Ouray has not changed in 45 years! In the summer of 1960, our family camped our way across country, mapped out by AAA, so my "little" brother, now 57, could earn Boy Scout badges. One stop was Ouray. It was too late to turn back and no way to turn around -- in our little American Rambler -- when we realized that the one-lane gravel road kept going and going and going. I'd swear it was the road pictured on the front the Travel section.

We literally prayed our way to the top. Dad didn't sleep well that night thinking about driving back down the next morning. It was a moment and a place we talked about for years.

Francine Proulx


Photo Contest

WHAT BEAUTIFUL photos in the Travel section [Photo Contest Winners 2005, Aug. 14]. Every one is a visual feast, but the one that has the most appeal for me is Rhoda S. Ratner's photo of the dogs on the Amazon River. "Whimsical" is exactly right.

Renee Shea


I ENJOYED your article on photo-sharing Web sites ["Well, Picture That," Aug. 14]. However, I want to alert your readers to a problem. After I shared my album by sending friends' e-mail addresses to Snapfish, those friends have not been able to stop Snapfish ads from appearing in their e-mail boxes. They and I have tried to get Snapfish to stop this spamming, but to no avail.

I will never give any more friends' e-mail addresses to Snapfish. I still use Snapfish for printing pictures; that service is a good buy and works well.

Lindley Darden


Bill Bryson's Iowa

PLEASE ADVISE your readers to save their money if they want travel information and to consider Bill Bryson's Iowa chat ["A Word With . . . Bill Bryson," Aug. 14] as pure fiction. I grew up in Iowa during the same decade. He has to be making up that "magical, vibrant" place.

Des Moines remains insulated, smug and best described by the moniker Same City. Downtown Des Moines had one claim to fame: Hordes of bored teenagers used to "scoop the loop." No doubt Bill and cronies have fond memories of honking at girls and swilling beer. I really doubt it is a phenomena to be emulated or even remembered without a groan!

Judy Boggess

Silver Spring

London Update

HAVING READ your story "London, Going Forward" [Aug. 7], I would like to update your readers on the current situation in London.

Many attractions are reporting little to no impact from the July bombing incidents on visitor numbers. Exhibitions like Frida Kahlo at Tate Modern and the final weekend of the International Arts and Crafts at the Victoria and Albert Museum may account for this.

Other positive indications include Top Table, Visitlondon.com's restaurant booking partner, which reported that business is excellent -- July 2005 is up over July 2004, and the last week in July was a record.

Similarly, AC Nielsen has reported that sales at managed pubs and bars in London have been unaffected by the bombs, while Cheapflights.com has reported that in July, London remained fourth in the list of most popular booking destinations. All in all, London is very much back on track.

Zoe Shurgold

Visit London


Bridesmaids, Cont'd

I HAD to smile when I read the article about bridesmaids having to travel all over to join their wedding parties ["Bridesmaid Revisited," July 24]. At our Dupont Circle store, we do many bride and bridesmaids' dresses a week for destination weddings all over the world. The bridesmaids many times complain; others are intrigued with the possibility of going to Hawaii or to the Caribbean. I get a vicarious kick out of hearing about the wedding and the travel arrangements. I find it adds to our work.

Rosemary E. Reed Miller

Toast and Strawberries


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