Q. My wife and I would love to hike along the Appalachian
Trail for a week or so. The only time that we can do this is from
December through April. Do you have any suggestions on who we could
contact for information, lodgings, etc.
A. Winter isn't the most popular hiking time, but the trail is
open all year.
To find out which sections are likely to be best for hikes in
winter conditions, contact the Appalachian Trail Conference, Box
807, National Park Service, Harpers Ferry, W. Va. 25425, phone
Amy Adams at the headquarters office explained that the trail
is a 2,144-mile-long national park that stretches through 14 states
from Georgia to Maine.
Basic information is available free from the Harpers Ferry
office, along with a list of low-cost publications that are more
specific about things like accommodations and back-country permits.
"There are rough three-sided shelters along the trail about
every 10 miles," Adams said. There also are a couple of overnight
places with food and beds, such as the one atop Mount LeConte on
the trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail goes
through some towns with motels, inns or campgrounds, she said, and
other towns are nearby.
The information packet includes a National Park Service folder
with a map of the entire trail; a booklet called Walking the
Appalachian Trail Step by Step; and a listing of helpful
publications and videos.
Q. We are planning a trip to Las Vegas. Could you please tell
us of places to write to obtain the best tour packages, and also
any bargain guides to the city? We are also interested in a two-day
trip to the Grand Canyon. Has Las Vegas come around to being more
of a family oriented vacation destination, or is it still primarily
for adults only?
A. Get a copy of "What's On in Las Vegas." It's available
free all over the city or by mail by sending $4 to What's On
Magazine, 4425 Industrial Road, Las Vegas, Nev. 89103.
It is published every two weeks, but much of the information
carries over, such as casino-hotels' toll-free numbers, discount
coupons for Grand Canyon and Lake Mead/Hoover Dam tours, and so on.
This guide contains prices at buffets and brunches, where to make
sports bets, procedures for Las Vegas weddings, costs for the big
shows, and advertisements for bargain hotel rooms. Using casino
hotels' 800 numbers, you can shop by phone for the best deals.
"What's On" has two pages of activities for children. Vegas has
indeed become child-friendly, with plenty for kids to do. There is
a carnival midway separate from the gambling area at Circus Circus
with games and entertainment; Excalibur has kid-type movies, games,
arcades and several rides; MGM Grand has a small theme park with 12
major rides; Boomtown Hotel has a gold-panning attraction; and most
major casinos have video arcades. …