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Experience the many ways to explore Yellowstone

I enjoyed the Yellowstone article [“Full Steam Ahead,” Sept. 6, by Christopher Reynolds].

If you love Yellowstone and can happily do without the crowds, do it in winter. It’s glorious and uncrowded, and you can appreciate the solitude and silence. It’s a whole other experience.

You need to make special arrangements. I went with a company called Natural Habitat Adventures. They are expensive, but you can research other companies and ways to go.

Richard Ross

Pacific Palisades

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Nice article on Yellowstone. I had never visited there until my daughter enrolled at South Dakota State, and we started driving back and forth from Los Angeles to Brookings twice a year. I’ve now been through Yellowstone four times, and every time, we have been glad we visited.

One road I’m guessing Reynolds hasn’t taken, because he mentioned he went to Bozeman: the northeastern route from Yellowstone to Billings, Mont. Beartooth Highway climbs to 10,977 feet through forests and then switchbacks up into alpine tundra.

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There are several small lakes at the top of the pass and even some small glaciers. Beautiful, wild and isolated.

We recently went that way rather than through Cody, Wyo., (heading east) or Idaho Falls (heading west), and we intend to drive that road again. It is breathtakingly lovely. If you get a chance to drive that way, take it.

Tessa Lucero

Canyon Country

India joins Brazil on visa issues list

I’ve gotten both Brazilian and Indian visas; if you think getting the Brazilian is annoying, you should see the Indian.

The Brazilian process is a petty, tit-for-tat, jump-through-a-few-hoops nuisance; the Indian process is exceedingly long, intrusive and downright frightening.

Sixteen pages? Mother’s religion? Countries visited in last 10 years? Exacting and confusing dimensions for photos? Cashier’s checks and prepaid FedEx return envelopes?

You could probably get a job at the National Security Agency with less disclosure.

For both countries, I recommend getting the five-year, multiple-entry visa even if your chance of returning is almost nil. They don’t cost much more, and duplicating the hassle is just too disheartening. Start the process about three months in advance; you may well need them all.

Chuck Almdale

North Hills

Memories of Half Moon Bay

I very much enjoyed Michele Bigley’s article regarding Half Moon Bay [“Sense of Calm Beside the Sea,” Sept. 6]. It brought back memories from 1964, when I saw it for the first time.

My parents had lived all over the world by the time I was born in England (No. 2 in a rare set of 1948 triplets). By the time we were 3, our father had decided to move to Canada and start a new life. By 1964, he was raring to go again, always moving from country to country, not city to city. So with no job waiting, he took off for California with our mother and us teenage triplets jammed in the back seat.

Always the adventurer, Dad had looked over a map of California and picked “a spot that sounded good.” That spot was Half Moon Bay. Dad took a month to drive slowly from Toronto to the California coast. Once we arrived and stood on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific in Half Moon Bay, we were all a bit disappointed. Back then, all Half Moon Bay seemed to have going for it was pumpkins.

I chuckle now, when I remember Dad standing on the big cliff looking over the land, and muttering, “Well, you could certainly do a lot with THIS land.” On another visit, a few years ago, I stood on the same spot. It is now the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Wendy Robinson

Saugus, Calif.


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