EH Notebook #111     Nov 9, 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
issues at    http://members.aol.com/ehindex

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

The person who posts this email to http://members.aol.com/ehindex
is on vacation so this issue may not be posted there until after

Bob McAllester

    Comments and Queries

We would appreciate information from anyone who's attended the
following Ireland Elderhostels: Irish Theatre and Art and/or
Definitive Ireland.  Thanks.

Mary and Bob Georges

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I am interested in Program 1063 - Sedona's Beauty - Exploring the
Mind, Body and Spirit Connection.  Has anyone been there or have
any information on it? Would appreciate hearing from someone.
Thank you.

Jeanne Johnson

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Just returned from a good Elderhostel in Prince Edward Island. It
was in Charlottetown.  New people will be running it.

I don't elaborate much, but only say taking an Elderhostel
anywhere in Canada has got to be the Best.  Wonderful people, the

I am interested in the Canada Rail Elderhostel...

Martha S

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Would like some info on the Adventures Afloat cruise to Alaska.


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Would like to hear from people who have taken Elderhostel birding
program trips, especially in Texas (Aransas National Wildlife
Refuge, #43010) or Nebraska (Sandhill Cranes migration, #27912).
I am interested in your rating of these trips or others you think
are better, and information about weather to be expected during
early spring, amenities, etc. My wife and I are thinking of going
in Feb/Mar of 2003.

Joe Winokur

    Program Reviews

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


    Elderhostel West/Dine College, Arizona
    Zephyr Point Conf Ctr/Lake Tahoe, Nevada
    North Idaho College/Ross Point Conf Ctr, Idaho
    Four Scandinavian Capitals Elderhostel
    Alpine Walking in Austria   Italy
    St. Charles Community College, Missouri
    LeMoyne College/LeMoyne Manor, New York

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Active Outdoor - Arizona

Elderhostel West/Dine College
Navajo Women's Culture
Women Between Sacred Mountains

This is an exceptional EH opportunity for women - but
unfortunately this was the last time the program will be offered.

The aim of the program was to provide the opportunity to share in
the day-to-day lives of the Navajo women in and around Canyon de
Chelly at Chinle, AZ. Our guide, Rebecca Martin, was very good and
well liked and accepted by Navajo people in general. Our group was
only 7 women, from RI, MA, GA, MI, CA, and two from TN (my
daughter and me). We were all ready to be flexible (a must on this
program) and eager to learn. Our schedule was tentative at best,
and very much dependent on the schedules of the various Navajo
women who were to be our instructors...and these schedules were
not always firmly fixed. Rebecca handled all of us skillfully and
with good humor (lots of telephone time involved getting things
verified and set up, if need be).

Our lodging was at the Dine College (a community college for
Navajo students near Canyon de Chelly). We were two to a room,
with shared bath between two rooms - typical college dorm type
arrangements. The rooms were good-sized and comfortable.

Breakfast was buffet-style at the College. We usually made our own
lunches to carry along in the van on our excursions. Three of the
evening meals were at area restaurants, one at the college dining
hall, and one at the home of our pottery instructor whose mother
tried to teach us how to make fry bread, and make Navajo tacos. In
general, the food was simple, plain, and plentiful.

We spent one day with a 60-year-old weaver, who cares for 30 sheep
and goats, moves them from pasture to pasture, shears them, cards
and spins the wool, makes her own looms and weaves rugs. She lives
in a hogan most of the year, and lives a pretty hard life. She was
very hospitable and sharing of her customs and life. Another day
was spent going to Window Rock, AZ, capitol of the Navajo nation,
and visiting the Navajo Nation Museum and the Legislative Chambers
(the legislature was not in session). The capitol historian spoke
to us about the form and workings of the tribal government. From
there we drove to the Hubble Trading Post - a historic site from
the post-Civil War area. We were able to tour the facility, watch
other weavers, examine (and buy) Navajo jewelry, rugs, and other
crafts. On returning to Chinle, we met with our potter at her
home. She instructed us on making our own clay from the 'clay'
soil, grinding and sifting it, adding sand and water. We then
formed our clay into pots, which we left to harden. The next day
was spent experiencing the Canyon itself. Rebecca and 4 of the
women hiked the 1.5 miles down into the Canyon, had lunch, and
hiked back up. My daughter, one of the other women, and I were
unable to participate in the hike, so we took a jeep ride along
the floor of the Canyon (at our own expense). We met the rest of
the group for our picnic lunch, and then we were picked up later
by the van.

The last full day was part hike with a guide who showed us various
plants, identified them, and told us what they were used for.
After the hike and our picnic lunch, we went in to Chinle to the
Navajo Crafts Guild - again to look at and compare various Navajo
crafts. In the late afternoon, we returned to the home of the
potter. Her mother showed us how to make fry bread, and we
cooked/chopped/stirred the rest of the ingredients for our Navajo
tacos. We all sat down together for our feast. A wood fire was
built so we could fire our pots. After firing, the pots were
dipped in pinyon pine resin for a sealant coating, and we were
finished for the evening.

The last morning, we had our final breakfast, got our bags ready
to go, and had a tour of the main campus building and its murals.

Rebecca was very sensitive to the feelings of both the Navajo
community and her EH charges. She allowed us to experience a lot
on our own, but with stories, readings, and providing books she
gave us much, much more.

This was definitely one of my favorite EHs, and, although I'm glad
I was able to participate in its last session, I'm sorry no other
women will be able to experience what we did. Canyon de Chelly is
such a magical place - it's always worth a trip there.

Mary Zelle

Editor's note:
For those who have not been exposed to Navajo culture, Dine is the
name that the Navajo's call themselves.  The "i" is pronounced as
in fin, not fine.  The "e" is pronounced, but not with the "a"
sound as in café, more like in Ned.

Even thought the women's program won't be held again, there are
still great programs at Canyon de Chelly.  The most popular ones
are held in the spring and fall when motel space is available.
Summer programs usually require camping because the motels are
full of tourists.  Only the hardy souls would try it in the
winter, though the rest of us are probably missing some
spectacular scenery.

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Zephyr Point Conference Center/Lake Tahoe
October 6-11, 2002

This was our second visit to this Elderhostel site so I will try
not to be too repetitive but refer you to our previous report in
Notebook #93.

I will repeat that this is a magnificently beautiful conference
center overlooking the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe.  The
buildings are modern and accessible and are built with a rustic
appearance that fits perfectly into the setting.  For other
remarks on the site, go to the previous report.

They hold about five Elderhostels a year at Zephyr Point and the
course material will vary tremendously from one session to the
next so this report is about our classes.

Tahoe's Natural History:
This is a course on the geology of the Tahoe Basin.  This is a
magnificent place for a geology class with a great variety of
geological structures for us to look at and our instructor was
knowledgeable and interesting.

The Middle East:
Our instructor had lived in Iran for twenty years and in Pakistan
for six years.  He and his wife had raised their children in Iran
and are very familiar with the cultural differences.

If we (and particularly the negotiators of our foreign policy)
were more aware of the cultural differences, perhaps our
government would be better able to avoid the dangerous
international situation in which we find ourselves.

King Arthur and American Culture:
The essence of this course is that each culture has a set of
stories that directs that culture.  In the US, the dominant
culture is Anglo-Saxon and one of its great stories is about King
Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  It is all about the
gallant, white, male knights who set out on their quests to do the
right thing and by the way to bring home some great riches.

This course was about how we are conditioned by the culture in
which we are raised and how difficult it is for us to really
understand another culture.  This was a course with a lot of
interesting class discussion and it tied in very neatly with the
Middle East course.

This Elderhostel program was considered by all to be very
successful.  It was the first time this particular program has
been presented.  The coordinator says they are looking into
repeating it next year.

Grace   Bob McAllester

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North Idaho College/Ross Point Conference Center
Post Falls
Oct 06, 2002

Courses: Geology/Waterfowl/Trapper David Thompson

Splendid fall weather and a comfortable lodge on the secluded
Spokane River just west of Coeur d'Alene made for a pleasant weeks
stay for this Program. We were treated to very good family style
meals at the lodge and fruit, snacks and coffee were available at
all hours for those interested.  A large staff was available to
provide canoes, miniature golf and activities during free time.

An interesting class on the regions geology, the great Spokane
floods and silver mining was presented by Lisa Hardy an active
mining Geologist.  We were also favored with an enthusiastic
introduction by Kristen Buchler to the wide variety of birds,
particularly loons, and the thriving colony of bald eagles
inhabiting the crystal blue lakes of the area.  One field trip
consisted of a day spent on a boat on the beautiful Lake Pend
Oreille where many of the indigenous species of waterfowl were
observed.   Mark Weadick recounted the fascinating journeys of
trapper David Thompson who as a young lad explored, mapped and
promoted the fur trade through the Canadian wilderness from the
Great Lakes in the east to the Columbia River in the west. His
captivating presentations included examples on the clothing and
gear used during that period in history.

Conversations among the diverse group of Elderhostelers helped to
compensate for the abundance of free time and pedestrian field
trips.  There are so many relevant activities, (historical
society, mining museums, Wallace) available in the immediate area
that would add to an already interesting core program that this
could become a classic program.  Until then bring a good book.

Carl Larson

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Four Scandinavian Capitals Elderhostel
May 11-31, 2002

We enthusiastically recommend this tour of Copenhagen, Oslo,
Stockholm, and Helsinki.  Our four center-city hotels ranged from
the comfortably renovated Mermaid in Copenhagen, to a modern, two-
year-old Hilton Scandic in Helsinki.  Two near-new huge ferries on
which we overnighted en route from Copenhagen to Oslo and
Stockholm to Helsinki had small but adequate cabins and spacious
public areas.  Buffet breakfasts daily provided a wide and
tempting array of cereal, dairy products, meats, fish, and fresh
fruit.  Lunches and dinners were heavy on pork and fish
(especially salmon and herring) and light on vegetables other than
potatoes.  Breads were plentiful, healthy, and delicious.

Instruction in each country focused on its history, culture, and
politics, with local university professors and site coordinators
delivering the morning lectures.  In Stockholm, we visited
Parliament and observed politicians in action; and we rubbed
elbows with Danish politicos while lunching one day in
Copenhagen's Parliament building.  We gained insights into a past
of royalty rule when we visited the 16th-century Kronborg Castle
in Denmark (where Shakespeare's play HAMLET is set and
occasionally still performed); the 17th-century Drottningholm
Palace (often dubbed the Versailles of Sweden) on Lake Malaren
outside Stockholm, where the royal family still resides most of
the year; and the 13th-century Hame Castle in Finland, where we
dined one evening by candlelight in a vaulted banquet room.  In
Stockholm, we toured the impressive 1923-built City Hall, in which
the Nobel Prize banquet is held annually.

The numerous museums we visited varied considerably in kind and
focus.  Artifacts, photographs, and personal memorabilia in the
Resistance Museum movingly document the heroic work of Norway's
World War II underground.  Copenhagen's Workers' Museum displays
the working and living environments of late 19th-century Danish
laborers.  In Oslo's Viking Ship Museum, we marveled at three
excavated Viking burial vessels, one dating from the 9th century,
another 64 feet long.  On exhibit in Oslo's Kon-Tiki Museum are
the famous Thor Heyerdahl raft on which he and five companions
sailed in 1947 from Peru to Polynesia and the papyrus Ra II, on
which they traversed the Atlantic from Africa to South America in
1970.  Other museums on the itinerary included Stockholm's
Vasamuseet, which houses a 1628 massive man-of-war (raised in
1961) that capsized and sank the day it was launched; the Danish
Museum of Decorative Art in Copenhagen; Oslo's National Gallery
(with two rooms of paintings by Edvard Munch); and the open-air
Norwegian Folk Museum, with buildings representing rural life of
centuries past.

Green space is plentiful and well kept in all four capitals; and
we walked through, drove by, and visited many city and small town
parks.  Gardens we enjoyed included Tivoli in Copenhagen; Oslo's
75-acre Vigeland Park filled with 212 Gustav Vigeland sculptures;
and Millesgarden in Stockholm, with works made and collected by
Sweden's most famous sculptor, Carl Milles.

Other notable places we saw included Helsinki's Temppeliaukio
Church, popularly called the rock church because it is quarried
into bedrock; composer Jean Sibelius' home on Lake Tuusulanjarvi
outside Helsinki; the Ski Museum in Oslo; and the factory that
makes world-famous Arabia china and Ittala glass in Helsinki.  We
enjoyed a classical music concert in Stockholm and Bizet's opera
CARMEN in Helsinki.

Overall, we have nothing but praise for this Elderhostel and all
those involved in making it memorable.  We rank it among the top
three Elderhostel programs in which we've participated.

Bob and Mary Georges

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Specialty/Active Outdoor - Walking   Hiking

Alpine Walking in Austria   Italy
September 18 - October 1, 2002

'Walking' through the Tyrolean Alps in Austria and Italy is a
'must do', a delightful way to really appreciate the beauty. My
personal favorites were the Tiefenbachklamn Gorge hike in Austria
and the Ciamin Valley hike in Italy.  In Austria we carried our
lunch and hiked on trails.  In Italy the Inns at the top wanted
our business, so we climbed under ski lifts along roadways and
then along gravel roads to the huts near the top.  The Dolomite
scenery was spectacular but 'walking' on roads was not what I came
to do.   Trips are offered for 5 years.  This trip is so popular
that it is to be offered one additional year.  It is my wish that
the only major change for the 'next five year walk' be hiking more
trails and having more 'picnic' lunches in Italy.

Accommodations were great. You are staying in beautiful sky resort
areas. In Castlerotto, Italy we had a spacious bedroom with a
separate sitting room plus a balcony with a fantastic view.  The
bathroom was beautifully tiled.   The food!  Dinners were five
star!  A salad bar to start, then an appetizer, then soup; the
entrée one night was delicious venison that the owner's friend had
shot earlier in the year.  There was always desert so you had to
pace yourself.  Wow!

The 'lectures' were delightful.  A botanist/naturalist accompanied
us one morning in Austria and won our hearts with his enthusiasm.
The unique English phrases of the young man who did all the
lectures in the Dolomites of Italy added to the pleasure.  Please
go if you are physically able. You do walk 4 to 5 hours a day,
maybe 3 to 4 hours before lunch and then an hour after.  It never
seems long enough!  I would be happy to e-mail a favorite photo of
the group on the trail.  Yes, we had rain and snow but dressed
appropriately it was not a problem!  Good boots and rain gear,
breathtaking scenery and delightful guides and company make this a
'must do' adventure.

Kathy Goldner

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St. Charles Community College
Oct. 6-12, 2002
Mark Twain, Lewis   Clark   the Civil War,

Accommodations were in a motel, which had just initiated a no
smoking rule. Typical continental breakfast served in a very
crowded facility. Lunches were catered, boxed or in nice
restaurants. Dinners were catered in the motel or in nice
restaurants. Some were self serve.

The program was well organized by a good staff. We were bussed to
the College for some lectures. The lecturers were very good and
prepared us for the field trips. The first day we toured the
Museum of Western Expansion in St. Louis and traveled to the top
of the ARCH. Lunched at   toured Main Street in St. Charles and
saw the Discovery Boats that will be used to retrace the Lewis  
Clark trail in 2004. After dinner we heard all about Sam Clemens.

The next day we had lectures at the SCCC and in the afternoon
toured a plantation near Danville which had a Civil War history.
Free evening after Old Country Buffet. Third day off to St. Louis
for visit to" White Haven", Gen. Grants home and Grants Farm for
lunch. We then visited the Old Court House where we reenacted the
Dred Scott Trial. This was very interesting and different. There
we had another view of the ARCH and listened to St. Louis prepare
for a base ball playoff game.  In the evening Lewis   Clark
reenactors told us about the trek they were to take in 2004.

Thursday we had very good lectures on L   C and after a picnic
lunch went to Jefferson Barracks for a Yankee demonstration of the
Civil War soldier, a museum and National Cemetery. Free evening.
Friday we bussed to Hannibal, MO to visit the new Mark Twain
museum. Then we had lunch on a river boat   cruised the
Mississippi. The weather was great, the people of MO are friendly
and I recommend the Elderhostel.

Chester Stevenson, Eugene, OR

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New York

LeMoyne College/LeMoyne Manor

Wineries, Waterfalls , Gorges And More: A Finger Lakes Spectacular
Oct 6, 2002

This was a great trip-led by Janice Langdon and her helpful and
highly qualified staff. The region is beautiful.  This was our
first trip there so we opted to go a couple of days early and
partake of the many Wine tasting rooms that are all up and down
the main finger lakes. (Seneca, Cayuga, Keuka) skipping the ones
that we were visiting during our Elderhostel.

We flew into Syracuse and rented a car for a week as we knew ahead
of time our motel in Syracuse was not accessible to anything by
walking (no sidewalks) and located on a busy 4 lane thoroughfare.
Note: for the shoppers -- Motel located about one mile from
Carrosel Mall which is to be larger than the Mall of America
when renovations are completed.!!

(The finger lake region is located 45 min drive west of Syracuse
and we stayed in a little town called Ovid the first 2 nites and
came up and joined the EH on Sunday.)

LeMoyne (no relation to college) Manor is an older motel that has
just been more or less updated--new mattress, decor etc. Very
comfortable , large rooms with two queen beds.  Bath rooms have
not been modernized--still has free standing, old type sinks but
everything was clean.
They even set us up a room with a computer for us to use to access
E Mail!

This motel is used as a rehab center for troubled persons,
recovering addicts etc. that have been clean for a certain period.
They learn new skills here and hopefully can go out and get a
permanent job.  They do all the work from the desk clerk to the
maids, even help in the kitchen etc.  They have a really high
success rate and the current director is a guy that went through
the program.  He has been there for some 7 years and loves his
work!  They get to practice their new skills on groups like us and
lots of just one day conferences.

Plentiful, but nothing to brag about.  All but breakfast were
served meals, staff very accommodating.  We did eat out several
days at lunch where ever we happened to be on that field trip
day.  The best was at the Statler Hotel at Cornell U in Ithaca.
Lovely Buffet!!  On other days we ate at wineries--Heron Hill
Winery and at the Ginny Lee Cafe at Wagner Vineyards--both good
but Ginny Lee better!

We had two class room days--Monday and Friday AM.  First day we
learned how the finger lakes came to be and in the afternoon took
a bus trip around Syracuse and to Le Moyne campus.  On Friday AM
class was on local history of the Erie Canal days with a surprise
visitor, a re-enactor playing part of a barge captain on the
canal.  Was well done and very informative.

Tue, Wed and Thur. --we did trips to the lakes.  First visiting
Robert Treman State Park for a short hike through the gorge there
to view the many waterfalls.  Next on to Cornell U campus for
lunch and a tour (bus) of that campus in Ithaca. (Located at the
southern tip of Cayuga Lake.) Made stop at Ithaca Falls and short
walk to see them better.

Next day (Wed) we headed back to the lakes, this time to the West
side of Seneca Lake for tour and  wine tasting at Fox Run
Vineyards  and on to Keuka Lake for lunch at Heron Hill and more
stops for tasting rooms at different wineries before heading back.

(Thur). again we boarded bus and went back to lake region.  This
time to Seneca Falls and the Women's Rights National Historical
Park and Visitor's Center and the National Women's Hall of Fame.
After visiting there we headed to Wagner Vineyards for lunch and
tour and tasting.

After we got back to Syracuse, we visited the Erie Canal Museum
downtown before heading back to Motel.

Something scheduled each night.  Had a wine tasting night and also
a wine reception on first night.  Local dentist presented program
called "music for what ails you" which was instrumental and
vocal.  (After the very full days, personally I was ready to call
it a night very early in the evening!)

This is an active program. On the go most of the time.  Hikes and
Walks easy and you could set your own pace.

LeMoyne has several different programs and if this was a good
example, I think all would be worth looking at if you would like
to travel to that part of NY state.   Very well run program!!

Billie A. Hamm