EH Notebook #110     Oct 24, 2002

Welcome to EH Notebook, the e-zine where e-friends who have 
attended Elderhostel programs can compare notes. 

There is an independent but cooperatively maintained index to old 
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To subscribe to the e-mail publication and/or to submit reviews of 
programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Bob McAllester, at 

Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format.

     From the Editor's Notebook

It turns out that I had a full set of reviews before Grace   I 
left for our Tahoe Elderhostel, but no time to put it together.  
Now we're home and caught up with the routine, so here it is.

I also have two more reviews that I didn't want to try to fit
into this issue, so that is a start for the next issue.

Bob McAllester

    Comments and Queries

I am interested in "The Rockies by Rail:  Ecology and People."  
Has any reader attended this program?   I would appreciate 
receiving any information you can furnish.


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We would like to hear from anyone who has been on the 
Walking/Hiking Elderhostel in England:  The Cotswolds and Cornwall 
(Program #3440) or in Ireland:  Killarney and Oughterard (Program 

Marcia and Ed BonDurant

    Program Reviews

To use an e-mail address, substitute
the "at symbol" for the 3 characters $A$.


Flathead Valley Community College, Montana
Lake County Chamber/Oregon's outback, Oregon
National Historic Parks/Hawke's Bay, Nfld
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Burin   St. Pierre et Miquelon, Nfld   France
Coastal Carolina University/Myrtle Beach, SC
Aurora Univ/George Wms Lake Geneva Campus, WI

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Active Outdoor - Montana

Flathead Valley Community College
Glacier National Park/Big Mountain
Hiking in Glacier's Grandeur
09/14/02 - 09/21/02

This program had two sections -12 hikers, and 25 walkers. We 
shared lodging and most meals, but went our separate ways during 
the days. Only two days were spent in Glacier National Park, and 
on other days, there were hikes and walks for each ability level. 

I was a hiker so can only speak about hiking trips. Our 2nd day 
several of us decided to hike up Big Mountain. We started at 4,400 
elevation and hiked up to the summit. (7,000 feet)  After 2+ hours 
we reached the top and had a free ride down on the ski lift. It 
proved to be the most difficult of all our hikes. Our two hikes in 
Glacier N.P. were much easier. The first hike into Glacier was in 
the area around Two Medicine Lake, mostly level and on good 
trails. It was a short hike of 4 miles due to weather and 
location. We did manage to see bears in the distance. Another day 
we traveled the beautiful 'Going to the Sun Road'. Unlimited 
visibility and warm seasonable weather made this trip, and hiking 
the Highline Trail at Logan Pass, special. At one time the trail 
was a 'cliff hanger' and downward drafts made for an exhilarating 
experience - not for those who fear heights or narrow trails. 
Mountain goats could be seen on both sides of the valley. Bears 
were not around, but our guides always stressed bear safety! On 
our last full day, we rode the lift up to the summit of Big 
Mountain, hiked around on top, had lunch at Summit Restaurant, and 
could either hike more, relax on the deck, or ride the lift back 

Class speakers were our amazing guides - Denny and  David - two 
very unique men. They are free spirits doing what they love - 
hiking, teaching, and showing the public how to appreciate and 
share our planet with wildlife and nature. Their combined skills 
would fill a complete book. Jason, our coordinator, was always 
available on site, sociable, and met our every need. One evening, 
Patti Jo, of Blackfeet Indian descent, spoke about her life and 
Indian ways of life. Slides for each class were outstanding. Local 
people telling local lore added much to this course.

Lodging   Food:
We stayed at Hibernation House, on Big Mountain. It's clean, 
comfortable, and quiet with TV and phones in each room. A 12 
person Jacuzzi, that several of us used, was a welcome treat after 
our daily hikes. Breakfast was served at the lodge, and lunch and 
dinner served buffet style at a restaurant about two blocks away. 
Van transportation was provided for those not wanting to walk. 
Food was adequate and plentiful. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate 
was available 24 hours a day at Hibernation House.

If you like easy hikes, beautiful scenery, fascinating guides, 
pleasant lodging and food, this course should interest you. I 
expected longer hikes but others thought it was just right. The 
only drawback was the two-hour drive to Glacier Park. That's the 
one of the reasons price was affordable. Shuttle available if 
needed from train station or airport at reasonable fee. Flathead 
Valley Community College runs a well-organized program and 
provides informative pre-information. Rate: 8 out of a possible 

Jean Crowley

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Lake County Chamber/Oregon's outback
Saddles, Sagebrush and Sawmills

It really was a different experience studying the lumber and 
cattle industries in a backwater town of 2,800 people in the high 
desert country (4,800 ft.) of the desolate, but fascinating 
eastern Oregon.

Although we expected to be surrounded by a bunch of rednecks, and 
probably were, the entire town was super friendly and almost every 
store -and there were very few stores- had "Welcome Elderhostel" 
signs in their windows. I forgot a pajama top and there was no 
place in town to buy pajamas, or any clothing except a sporting 
goods store, which had mainly outdoor hunting apparel.

We felt safe walking the 3 blocks back to our motel late at night. 
In the morning we noticed 3 separate flocks of California Quail 
consisting of about 30 birds scurrying about pecking for seeds. It 
was nice to see them quickly run out of our way. One morning all 3 
flocks became one of over 100 birds. Amazing!

We visited the huge ZX ranch which had somewhere around 15,00 head 
of cattle scattered over a zillion acres. Many interesting cowhand 
speakers and demonstrations of branding, and how they worked 
through out the year, etc.

Went way up in the mountains to watch up close the falling of 3 
huge Ponderosa Pines and how just two men quickly did the job of 
falling and skidding 30 foot long pieces to a staging area where 
they were loaded on a logging truck and driven to the mill.

Then to the mill for a tour of off-loading the trucks and into the 
de-barking machine and thence to the huge saws that quickly, by 
computer, decided how to cut them up into 2x4s, 2x12s, etc., to 
get the best board foot yield out of that particular log.  
Wonderful, but very noisy tour.

Here we ran into what we expected. An uniformed employee ranted 
and raved about how environmentalist were ruining the lumber 
industry. Because he became so emotional I was afraid to tell him 
that 3 weeks previously I heard a retired supervisor of the 
Shoshone National Forest admit that the National Forests had been 
mismanaged for years due to the influence of the cattle, lumber 
and mining industries and it has been starting to improve only 
because of the suits brought by the environmentalists. The suits 
were won because the facts were on their side.

This group was noticeably older than the group in recent E/Hs 
we've attended. There were three 87 year olds out of 26, and only 
one couple in their late fifties or early sixties.  In recent E/Hs 
we at age 79 appeared to be the oldest, or nearly so. Frankly, we 
liked it better with the older group.

Many had a farming, ranching or dairy cattle experience while 
growing up in the country or small towns, and it was a nostalgia 
trip for them. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

All in all, a very successful E/H but depressing in some ways. The 
town is obviously rather poor. Many people working for minimum 
wage, no shortage of cowboys willing to work long, hard hours for 
$7.50/hr. Lots of run down houses and mobile homes. But, 
regardless many of them seemed to be happy living there and we met 
many who were born and raised there and came back after several 
years of trying the outside world. Has a weekly newspaper every 

>From SeniorNet Elderhostel discussion #288

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National Historic Parks/Hawke's Bay
August 25- 31,2002
(Maynard's Torrent River Inn)

Ralph   JoAnn Lindblom visited this Elderhostel September 7-
13,1997 and this is what they had to say:

The presenters were excellent and resource material was very good. 
Many proofs of the Viking discovery and settlement of North 
America 500 years before Columbus. Classes were held in the motel 
and were reinforced by trips to Port Au Choix, Port Saunders, 
L'Anse Aux Meadows and St. Anthony. Meals were served in the motel 
dining room with one box lunch in a replica Viking sod house at 
L'Anse Aux Meadows. 

Elderhostel Notebook #20, Dec. 11,1997

I would like to confirm their observations and add some of my own 
from my visit in August 2002.

I found the Accommodations excellent. It is a large comfortable 
Inn with many of the amenities of a large facility. We had a 
nicely sized quiet room with two comfortable double beds. A full 
bath was in the room and the bath was cleaned daily. It was a 
smoke free room.

The hotel staff served the meals and they consisted of a fixed 
menu of tasty and wholesome food.  Portions were ample to 
generous.  When we were on field trips we had a boxed lunch, which 
was delicious and we ate at prearranged restaurants. All of the 
dining areas were smoke free and all of the meals were good.

The truly outstanding part aspect of this Elderhostel was the 
program and the coordinator.  Bill Maynard was our coordinator, 
bus driver, presenter, entertainer and part owner of the Inn.  By 
assuming all of these roles he was able to make last minute 
adjustments to our schedule when weather conditions and/or 
opportunities presented themselves.  We might be already to leave 
for a campfire when a downpour would appear. He would quickly 
reschedules with a presentation or videotape followed by a social 
hour in the lounge of the Inn.

All of the presenters were excellent and the seminar room very 
comfortable.  Bill ranked with the best for the sessions he 
presented. He is very knowledgeable about the area, the Norse and 
the interesting events that lead to Newfoundland joining Canada in 
1949. (from 1831 to 1934 Newfoundland was and independent country) 

The bus belongs to the Inn and Bill was the driver. This provides 
us considerable flexibility on the field trips. The bus is not a 
school bus but it looks like one. The trip to L'anse Aux Meadows 
is a long and it could be taxing to someone not accustomed to 
riding a bus.

As the coordinator Bill was very accommodating and helpful. His 
skills as a story teller and entertainer were apparent during the 
entertainment he arranged for the last night. He enjoys being an 
Elderhostel coordinator and he brings considerable enthusiasm to 
the responsibility.

This is a truly beautiful part of Newfoundland.  Consider 
attending this Elderhostel at Hawke's Bay with the one at Cow 
Head, Gros Morne National Park back to back. They don't duplicate 
each other and you will have a very enjoyable time and experience 
a good part of western Newfoundland, a truly beautiful and 
interesting part of the world.

Comments and questions are invited.  

Richard C. Youngs

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Gros Morne National Park
Cow Head, Newfoundland
Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins

I attended this Elderhostel in September of 1995.  When I was in 
the area this summer I learned that they were still doing this 
Elderhostel. I would like to recommend it highly.  I had an 
excellent experience when I was there in 1995 and I am sure you 
will have a similar experience today.

The meals were served in the motel dining room that over looks the 
Shallow Bay of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It is very pleasant 
dining experiences with cloth tablecloths and napkins. The wait 
staff is very helpful and courteous.  The meals are generous and 
provide examples of local food.

The rooms are clean comfortable and each room consists of 1 or 2 
beds, color cable TV, private bathroom with tub and shower. They 
also we have 2 bedroom cottages on the motel grounds with kitchen, 
bathroom, living room, color cable TV and private telephone.  All 
rooms and units are located on first and second floor.  Linen is 

The program is excellent. Sharon Coles, part owner of the motel is 
the coordinator. She is very friendly and accommodating.  (Ask her 
about how she got into the motel business. It is an interesting 
story.) The program and field trip coverage of Gros Morne Park is 
extensive and very interesting. It includes a wonderful boat trip 
to Western Brook Pond, a tour of the park and visit to Broom 
Point.  The presenters are very knowledgeable and entertaining.  

A unique aspect of the experience is the dinners with local 
people.  It is an opportunity to become acquainted with the ways 
and experiences of the local people of Newfoundland.

This is a truly beautiful part of Newfoundland.  Consider 
attending this Elderhostel at Cow Head, Gros Morne National Park 
with the one at Hawke's Bay (National Historic Parks program # 
64245) back to back. They don't duplicate each other and you will 
have a very enjoyable time and experience a good part of western 
Newfoundland, a truly beautiful and interesting part of the world.

Comments and questions are invited.  

Richard C. Youngs

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Burin   St. Pierre et Miquelon
August 11- 17,2002

If you are interested in an old fashion Elderhostel and a taste of 
international travel this Elderhostel is for you.  The first three 
days are spent on the campus of the College of the North Atlantic, 
Burin Campus in Burin, Newfoundland, Canada. The second four days 
are spent on the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, which are 
part of France - yes France!

This Elderhostel can be best described and two mini- Elderhostels. 
The first part is on the Burin Campus housed in a typical college 
dorm with the shared restrooms on the same floor or down one 
floor.  If you remember your college dorm room it is the same 
except it has a telephone outlet for computer access. Some 
evenings it was warm and like any dorm a bit noisy.

Free laundry and computer facilities were provided as well as a 
comfortable lounge - kitchen with colored TV and library. The 
staff was most accommodating. When we returned late the last day 
of the Elderhostel we were permitted to stay an extra night in the 
dorm at no extra charge. 

The meals were a combination of dorm type food service and special 
local dishes prepared as one part of the Elderhostel program. They 
were tasty, ample and nutritious.  We had moose stew one evening 
prepared by the Elderhostel participants. It tastes a lot like 
beef. We were told that it had come from poachers rather than road 
kill.  That was comforting to know. Moose are abundant in 
Newfoundland. There are twice as many moose as people. 

The program was a mixture of trips to local museums and nature 
sites. The entertainment included being inducted into "The Royal 
Order of Screechers" a Newfoundland tradition that involves 
kissing a Cod!  Bring your camera to this event it is lot of fun.

St. Pierre is about an hour and half ferry ride from the coast of 
Newfoundland. Bring you US Passport because the French Immigration 
Officers will what to see it and stamp it as you pass through 
French Immigration. (You will go through Canadian immigration when 
you return to Canada) Once on St. Pierre it is a short walk to the 
Hotel Robert, a three star hotel, for your accommodations. The 
rooms were large, clean, smoke free, with two double beds and full 
bath.  The electricity is the 220 V with round pins as it is in 
the other parts of Europe.

Breakfast was a modest continental breakfast of rolls, coffee etc. 
Lunch and supper were buffet style served at the Neptune hotel.  
They were tasty, ample and nutritious.  Ample wine was served at 
lunch and dinner.

The field trips included a boat trip and day touring to the 
islands of Miquelon and Dog Island. Both were interesting and 
provided many sights and beautiful scenery. There were also field 
trips on St. Pierre.  

Jean Pierre Andrieux gave the lectures. His family has been long 
time residents of the island and they are owners of the Robert and 
Neptune Hotels.  He lectures on fishing, shipwrecks and role of 
the island in the era of Prohibition. At the height of the US 
Prohibition era 10,000 cases of whisky were being shipped out of 
Canada into St. Pierre (France) daily. From there they were 
shipped to the bootleggers in the US.  It was a key bootlegging 
source for Al Capone and he was know to visit the Island. 

The currency is the Euro as it is in other parts of the EU. Things 
are priced in the Euro but they will accept the US Dollar at about 
the same exchange rate as the Euro.  Wine and liquor and other 
French items are bargains but you will be able to bring only a 
limited back into Canada. The police are gendarmeries just like 
Paris. The buildings and culture seems a lot like rural France but 
not Paris.

The second part of this Elderhostel is well worth the 
inconvenience of the "dorm life" of the first three days.  It is a 
fun and interesting Elderhostel and I recommend it to anyone with 
a sense of adventure.

Pictures are available at:
Click of this address and then:
in the blue box titled "view and friend's albums" type:
    rcyoungspics    ---and then click the arrow
When that opens choose:
    Elderhostel -- Burin (NF, Canada)   St. Pierre (France)
When that opens choose:
    look at my album

Comments and questions are invited:

Richard C. Youngs

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South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University/Myrtle Beach

We recently attended an Elderhostel at Myrtle Beach, SC.  The 
program was administered through Coastal Carolina University and a 
very capable young lady by the name of Connie Lee.  We got to see 
a pristine, totally unpopulated barrier island and learned about 
the shoreline ecology.  Other trips included a trip to Georgetown, 
SC where we heard the history from a local African American pastor 
who (at age 80+) was very knowledgeable of his subject.  We were 
amazed to learn that this part of SC was once the 2nd wealthiest 
area of the US - second only to Massachusetts - because of the 
proliferation of rice plantations.  That same day we also visited 
the former estate of Bernard Baruch, which was very interesting.  
The next day we went to Brookgreen Gardens which was beautiful 
with all its sculpture and immaculate surroundings (attended 
mostly by volunteers who are also seniors).  Another trip was to 
Ripley's Aquarium, which was very nice.  

The hotel was very nice (Hampton Inn at Broadway at the Beach) 
with indoor and outdoor pools, adequate continental breakfast, 
etc.  We were without hot water for 2 days, but received a coupon 
for 2 nights free stay anytime in the next 15 months or so, which 
was very nice.  Meals were very disappointing - especially since 
the Elderhostel catalog specifically stated that evening meals 
would be at several different local restaurants.  This never 
happened.  The only restaurant we used was one in Georgetown for 
lunch and the meal was so skimpy we went looking for ice cream 
afterward.  Other evening meals were catered at the hotel, but 
they used instant mashed potatoes (which tasted horrible) and no 
salads were available at all, nor was there any choice of entrees.  
One night, the leaders resorted to bringing in KFC with all the 
sides.   Four box lunches were included in our fare.  That got 

The best speaker we had was the very last one - she was very 
dynamic and personable.  The worst one was a philosophy professor 
who rambled on and on to the point where many of us got up and 
left and didn't return for his "2nd installment" the following 

All in all, the location was perfect, the hotel was good, the 
program was OK with the one above exception and the food was not 
good at all.  

Herm   Carol Spitzer
Seneca, SC

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Aurora University/George Williams Lake Geneva Campus
Historical Architecture, Walking Tours, and Humor
September 22-27, 2002

The site and programs have been previously reviewed by other 
Elderhostelers more favorably than I felt at the end of this 
program.  I'm sure I was in the minority, but I put this one at 
the bottom of my list of six and indicated on the form I would not 
recommend it to other Elderhostelers.  If this had been my first 
Elderhostel, it might have been my last.

The lodging for most participants was in The (New) Lodge 
comparable to a very nice motel.  Nine program participants 
painted with water colors while the others had classes on humor 
and residential architecture, with most participants in the 
afternoons visiting small towns in the area to discuss the types 
of architecture we saw.  Visits were made to homes, one owned by 
the same family for more than 100 years who want to keep it open 
for tourists if the state would accept its ownership and another 
one lovingly restored and open now as a bed and breakfast and for 
general touring.  Both visits were made special because of the 
owners accompanying us.  A county museum was also visited, and an 
optional Lake Geneva boat ride was available.  A pontoon boat ride 
was available for $5.

I didn't think either the humor or architecture classes were as 
complete and on the subject as they might have been.

Although the site is hilly, The Lodge and the Educational Center 
are adjacent, and the Dining Room, some distance away, did not 
involve steep hills to reach it. Unless access to the lake was 
desired, the week's activities did not require more than normal 

I was disappointed in that other than a piano recital by a very 
talented 14-year-old local high school boy, evening activities 
were limited to the Elderhostelers being involved in games.  
Introductions the first night are, of course, expected and 
appreciated, and the artists displayed their paintings the night 
of the recital, although most of us had been visiting the artists' 
studio through the week.  The other evenings were for what I 
describe as "parlor games".

I also thought the meal situation could have been improved.  
Rarely was any food warm even when eaten first.  There were many 
youths on the grounds, and most meals seemed to be directed to 
them - hot dogs and hamburgers, for example.  Some food items 
(salad and dessert, in particular) seemed to be on a "first-come, 
first-served" basis, as the items were not always replenished.  
Low-fat cooking is utilized.

Internet access was usually available to Elderhostelers in the 
Educational Center.

Diane Tanner