VIA readers share their favorite national parks, memories from a trip along the Pacific Flyway, and political perspective.
Mapping the Pacific Flyway
Your article Adventures on the Pacific Flyway  (September/October 2011) inspired us! We left our home in Modesto, Calif., the last week of October and visited eight of the wetland refuges the article mentioned. A real highlight of the trip was the sight of “120% of normal” tundra swans at Medicine Lake in remote northeast Montana. We also purchased the beautiful $15 federal duck stamp  that supports these beautiful wetlands. This was the trip of a lifetime.
The most interesting place I have visited is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve  near Arco, Idaho. It’s a very small park in the middle of nowhere, with an inactive volcano and dark, belowground lava tubes that you can actually walk through.
My favorite park? This is like trying to choose between your children! Right now, it’s Lassen Volcanic National Park . It is gorgeous. Easy-to-difficult trails wander through mountain meadows and over devastated moonscapes. They also have a wonderful new visitor center, lakes, creeks, bubbling and hissing mud pots, fumaroles, and a volcano.
We visited Grand Teton National Park  last summer and the beauty is breathtaking. The boat ride across Jenny Lake and the hike to the waterfall and lookout were perfect with a child in tow. We were unable to find camping accommodations  at Jenny Lake and ended up at Gros Ventre Campground. It has great views of the Tetons and the campsites, sheltered beneath trees, are huge and spaced out.”
Not Che Chic
I was dismayed to see the choice of the photograph featuring Che Guevara at the Red Door in Utah’s Bohemian Rhapsody  (November/December 2011). I do not deny the lounge has the right to display the art of their choice, but I do take exception to VIA allowing this photo into the publication. Che chic is an unfortunate consequence of ignorance and the popular elevation of revolutionary figures to icons of celebrity.
I liked your article in the recent issue about recycling  (November/December 2011). We keep extra empty bags in our cars so we can pick up trash and recyclables when we stop for a picnic or hike. We always find someone else's trash! It’s just our small part in helping the earth!
Nevada City, Calif.
An ordinary human being can do a number of things to help the earth. How to live within your means (or resources) is an art not a science. Helping the earth starts with personal influence and behavior:
Individuals have to start looking at their own environment and thinking about how a primitive person lived without plastic, paper, and other modern conveniences.
Navin S. Dedhia
San Jose, Calif.
keep bright clothes in your trunk
As a retired law enforcement officer, I’d like to suggest a couple of items for the trunk  (November/December 2011): a bright rain poncho and a bright (red-orange-white) light jacket or sweater. Either of these things can be used as a warning flag, worn while changing a tire, regardless of weather, or used as a warning device a few yards behind a disabled car with a rock on top.
The article Do Car Alarms Actually Deter Theft? (November/December 2011) contained an error. California Auto Select insurance does not offer a discount for customers who have a car recovery device such as LoJack or OnStar. Our insurance agents were alerted and encouraged to remind members of our other discounts : good driver, new driver, Teen Smart Certification, good student, mature driver, mult-car, and multi-policy. –EDITOR